Liminality and Waiting

I am doing no better with reintegration into ‘civilian’ life than I was a few days ago. I feel very unsettled in a very unsurprising way–I feel like all my insides have been shuffled and yanked out and rearranged and shoved back in, which they were–and it is hard to find equilibrium. I am exhausted most of the time and am having trouble being around unexpected people, which is Complicated because I am, for all intents and purposes, homeless and living on the generosity of friends who are hosting me. I don’t have my own space so it’s hard to shut the proverbial gate.

I’m not working at the moment (but am actively looking) and despite literally having less than a dollar to my name, I am grateful that I have this time to settle. I’m not sure what it would be like to work right now, especially since I have not yet ventured out of my whites and am tying my head now and then even when I am indoors.

The last few months have all been about liminality. The fucking death march that was the trip down to Haiti–over 24 hours in airports and no sleep for 48 hours–was about liminality. I basically abandoned my life and moved on, and sort of hung in the balance for a very stressful full days.

Kanzo was a liminal space. Once I entered the djevo, I died and went under the water for nine days.

Coming out of the djevo didn’t end that, it just changed the parameters. I am no longer dead, but I still hang in the balance until my quarantine period is over. I am feeling every bit of it, too. My main jobs at the moment are to firstly protect my head and, as a distant second, find some work. It is exquisitely hard to write cover letters when all you want to do is lay on the floor and stare at things. I feel so foggy so much of the time.

In some ways, this is sort of a reflection of my entire life. Liminality should be my middle name–I’ve never really had two feet anywhere at any given time, and I’m not even sure I do now. One foot here, one foot in Ginen. But my kanzo experience and my quarantine experience is sort of a giant ball of ‘This Is Your Life’. Every single part of who I am, from my gender to my professional aspirations to the spirits who have made themselves significant parts of my life, is about liminality and boundary bending in some way. My brain doesn’t know what to do with that yet.
I have a lot to do and a lot to think about. I need to start writing about Haiti and things that happened so I don’t lose them, or lose how they felt. It still doesn’t feel real, though, and if I didn’t have a pot tet staring me in the face alongside an array of govi and paket kongo I’d probably think I dreamed it all up.


~ by Alex on August 8, 2016.

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