Monday, November 8, 2010

In-Between Land

Aaah I haven't blogged in forever! There have been even more hundreds of thoughts swirling around in me lately, but I think that the sheer vastness of topics has hindered writing.
Also, I'm realizing more and more that I don't know anything about anything... which is an exciting place to be. I trust myself more here.

But all this does not contribute to blog posts, and I've also been aching to write. Well, enough about me. Let's talk about...

In "The Magician's Nephew (C. S. Lewis)," there is an intriguing land with many pools. Each pool, or puddle, leads to a different world, and characters travel time and space through wearing rings and slipping into these pools.

I don't remember if the land had a name, but I like Jack Johnson's album title: "In Between Dreams." Let's call it the "In-Between Land." I've always felt an affinity for the characters in this place, and can picture the look of it.
If it were music, it would be Peruvian wooden flutes and pipes, with low cello and bass sliding scales... and maybe an accordian. A bland wind blows half-heartedly through eerie space, just enough to chill you into picking a destination. Grey and gray and dirty browns stain the mossy floor, and the sky blankly keeps the seasons secret.

It's been years since I've read the actual book, so I forget how Lewis described it.

In-between worlds. In-between time. No-man's land. transition. pause.


Between the motion and the act falls the shadow (T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men".).

Airplane rides. Not the ones for vacation but the ones that are the finality of months of labeling boxes and smelling packing tape and quietly observing a life shrinking, by degrees, into __________.
First the books then the less-used clothing then the extra bedding then the cookware (leaving a remnant), then the crafts then the toys then the boxes of superfluity that no one knew existed, then more clothes, then giving away furniture, then the night on a mat and the mad dash for the last items on your bed stand that were almost forgotten because they were so close...

Then the eery time when you brush your teeth in airports for morning, night, and morning.

You glide over "In-Between Land" and fall as the plane's nose gently dips into another pool. Then you continue falling in freeze frame. Living in the pause. It takes time to fully materialize. Does that make any sense?

The whole thing is quite fascinating.

I've spent a good amount of life in the "In-Between Land." I've been told that TCKs disconnect six months before a move. My lease is up in 5 and I'm already saying goodbye to parts of my apartment. I'm already there and can hear the delicately painful music. In a minimal way, of course. I didn't even think that I'd mention it when blogging, but there you go.

I have the sand of nations in my soul... please don't wash it away...

Typically one day a year I ache for every place I've lived and visited and loved--where I just miss EVERYTHING. I've experienced it to a lesser degree each year, but I desperately hope it won't go away. It's not this awful thing; on the contrary, I think it's healthy. It feels like remembering who I am. And an honest grieving that I can't ever go back.

But God is ushering me forward--instead of "The Magician's Nephew," the present and future feels like "The Voyage of the Dawn-Treader", which is probably my favorite. Although it's SO hard to choose.

News - Narnia Dawn_Treader Michael_Apted.jpg

Instead of passively watching worlds emerge and fade, God is weaving me through all kinds of waters, visiting distant islands and having marvelous adventures. Instead of "In-Between Land" there is a constant Presence upon which I ride; singing under mighty wings and tasting sweet water.

He's been the only one who's always been there, and I know that He is faithful. He's been my rings that slipped me in between worlds. And we've had lots of conversations in "In-Between Land", God and I. Lots of whispers and tears and screams.

Maybe I wouldn't have longed for Him as much otherwise.
Thanks, Jesus. Ni mei tian yao wo, mei tian xiang wo, mei tian ai wo.


  1. lovely...I love what you said about honest grieving. where are you moving to?

  2. I don't know... I think I'll still stay in the Springs, but need to find a place to stay. Ideally, it would be with a family or empty-nesters that wouldn't mind (or would enjoy!) me teaching lessons a few afternoons a week at their home. And minimal rent. :) I'd love to save to go overseas, whenever or wherever that is. Please let me know if you hear of anything!

  3. I always really liked the wood between the worlds as well. And "The Magician's Nephew" is probably my favorite Narnia book. And then "The Horse and His Boy." And then "The Last Battle." You're right--it is really hard to choose!

  4. yeah, it is! "The Horse and His Boy" and the "Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" are probably tied for second. I need to read them. I need to find people to read them to, because I really want to read them out loud.