We will abide for a time in the space between stories. …
Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible
Lissa Rankin is one of my spiritual mentors, but I have yet to meet her in person. (I will this Fall and I can’t wait!) I resonate with so much of what she says. She skims off the collective in a way I know is real and true, and I listen with that ear behind the ear when she speaks through her work. I also listen to works she refers and Charles Eisenstein’s body of work is an example of that.
One idea Lissa has talked about in the past few months is Eisenstein’s space between stories so many of us find ourselves in right now. It’s that feeling you get when you finish a book and you haven’t found another that captures your heart. Or you finish a Netflix series and haven’t found another to take its place and panic sets in. (It’s possible this is just happening at our house.)
On a more intense level, it’s that uncomfortable span of space where your life as you knew it is no more and something new is unfolding. This is true both globally and individually. Globally, all systems are shifting. Individually, this space can be brought on by the end of a career and start of retirement, the end of a relationship, losing a job, a death, a birth, the flying of children from the nest, inspiration, desperation, confusion, infusion. Many triggers catapult us into this between-space and quite often, heave us into a disorienting murky pond upside down. Sometimes it takes awhile to see clearly.
And it happens at every age. I see my youngest son in his space, finishing up the education phase he was forced into and moving into the education phase he gets to mold however he chooses. I watch my oldest son and his partner, both college professors, preparing to figure out their next steps in their approaching 30, Saturn return futures. Two years they all will be living a much different story than they are now. Two years from now, with the upcoming fall elections in the USA, so will the rest of the world.
It’s tempting to fill the space. I see myself doing this. Knowing my youngest son will be leaving to go to college next Fall, I have two big projects lined up. Having parenting as a top priority for the past 30 years, I feel like that story is taking on a new, less demanding theme. One of those projects is to get my Spiritual Practitioner license that I’ve been working towards the past four years and dedicate some service time to my local spiritual center. Another is to make a documentary film on shifting the landscape of how we view and treat children’s mental health. These are parts of the new story. The question is how much time I will be willing to grant the in-between part.
My guess is just a little. I think it’s because the in between space is so unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I struggle with non-productivity. When I finish writing a book, and have rewritten it until my eyes bug out, I put it away for a period of time. I don’t start another one physically in the name of the space, but start “pre-writing” different stories in my mind. I tell my story maker inside to chill, but she doesn’t listen. She just starts scribbling on the whiteboard of my brain with all her color-coded markers and wants to get out of the bug soup phase as quickly as she possibly can…in the name of efficiency. She really won’t let me be until I use the physical white board and markers and storyboard a plan.
Still, the older I get, the more I value this space between stories. I like to listen to and witness other people’s space between stories. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s celebratory and exciting. Always, it’s to be greatly valued as the birth canal of infinite possibility.