I just finished my Picture A Day For A Year blog and there is something rewarding and nourishing about being DONE with something. You look at it and you think: I set out to achieve something and I accomplished it. So much of life (particularly life at middle age) is defined by wading through perpetually unfinished (and seemingly unfinishable) work. I assume that's why people become consumed with lawn-mowing, gardening and home-improvement projects -- these things are uniquely unlike the nourishment and attention they lavish on their jobs, their families and their self-development -- because they are finished. (Thus, too the proliferation of 26.2, 13.1, 3.1 stickers on the backs of cars? Finish lines everywhere to help us manage the unfinishability.)
So the last post I wrote was about a feature film I was hoping to make and part of me wants to take the post down and pretend like it never happened. It would be easier to imagine that NOT FINISHING wasn't a part of my life, that I have never failed at anything and that my life, like most of the lives represented on the internet is NOT disappointing.
But the truth is that I'm not going to make that movie. And while I can imagine that sometime I would change my mind about this? I'm actually not planning on making movies any more at all. Depending on who you are and how you know me -- this may seem like a big shock or a massive contradiction of my essence. But it's not, I assure you. These kinds of transitions (like the structures of scientific revolutions in Kuhn's wonderful extended essay about the nature of academic thinking and the history of human thought) happen gradually and slowly and probably even? Inevitably. And when they do reach the tipping point or the day that they must be announced? They *seem* monumental, but upon further and deeper examination? They've been a long time coming.
This isn't really supposed to be a post about movie-making or goodbyes though. It's actually a post about what's next. Well, it's ACTUALLY actually a post about the fact that there might *be* a next. I'm not going to say exactly what the *next* is right now and right here, I'm just going to allude to it and then probably say more about it later.
This blog has been called the inbetween for a long time and for a lot of reasons.
I studied Van Gennep's ideas about limin and liminality when I was writing about Garage Sales in graduate school. I have always loved the fluctuation, potential and magic that can emerge because of inbetween-ness. And as I entered middle aged adulthood with this blog the frame "inbetween" seemed uniquely helpful for capturing my life as I understood it. I could write several books about how and why I came to appreciate inbetween-ness, but the truth is: I'm a little bit tired of being inbetween.
I'm a strong "P" on the Meiers Briggs test which means I have an almost indefinite ability to persist without closure or definition, but there is a bit of a cost that comes with deferring so long. I know that because I've spent 44 years being okay with "inbetween" -- that it will always be a part of me, but I think I'm going to create another online space to chronicle this new chapter in my life. The part of me that is no longer trying to straddle two professions (higher education and filmmaking) but the part who is instead committing to something new. Something that I want.
Edit: Well, I still wouldn't mind some clarity, stability and direction, but that plan didn't work out. So I'm back here, waivering again. In between. Forever inbetween? It seem to be a position I return to over and over again. Maybe that's all that there is. Stay tuned. I'll let you know when the pendulum swings again. Meanwhile, I'm back to writing occasional dispatches here.
Do stay in touch!