Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"Not this, not this"

From the comments in the previous post, this, from little light, struck me, in the good way i mean, hello:

" ...for people to whom categories and sharp lines form important foundations, things that look to disrupt those foundations, like people who're not-this-not-this, are unsettling the way a lot of people react to a spider--they can't put their finger on it, there's just an uncomfortableness, a creepy-ness, a pit of disgust in the stomach. They can't explain it and it's not rational, but they feel unsettled, they feel like just having to look at it is like the trees and rocks shouting at them or two moons rising at night--like the whole world is suddenly, nauseatingly, a little off-center. And that's scary. So's the self-examination it implies as necessary."


me, i keep thinking of, when I was a kid:

I used to love to stay at my grandparents' in Sun City, a retirement community. i loved and fastened on really small shit, the way kids do: the library, the poster my grandma had of various foods and their calories count, my grandpa's electronic chess set, the five minutes before closing time at the public pool. my grandma's lingerie and makeup drawers.

so, but, over their bed, they had a fluorescent light that had two pull-cords. you could pull either one to turn it on, or turn it off again.

but if you pulled them both together, if you did it just right, it would produce a strange flickering greyish light. the suspension of that in-between place fascinated me, the improbability of it. what else was possible if you knew how to pull the right switch at the right time?

like that.


KH said...

Some of us do spend our lives jiggling the switches, don't we?

meva said...

Limbo. That flickering, not-on, not-off, is like limbo. A kind of non-existence while you still exist, but in a different reality. Very seductive.

Hedonistic Pleasureseeker said...

Magic happens in the liminal spaces.

prosphoros said...


Roy said...

When I was a child, I was almost obsessed with finding that magical middle-spot. I don't remember specifically what started it, but I remember realizing that a lot of things- light switches, our old black-and-white television, certain toys- had this special state half-way between "on" and "off," and I became fascinated with seeing the results.

little light said...

My best friend has a running joke about how I'm the most "nondenominational" person she knows: I'm a multiracial mostly-bisexual trans person with a working-class Catholic parent and an upper-class Jewish parent, a middle child, ambidextruous, and so on.

Liminal spaces are fascinating, though I always wanted, growing up, to have somewhere to just automatically belong. Still--there's something magical about thresholds and middle grounds and twilights.

lilcollegegirl said...

"Not in the spaces we know, but between them."--H.P. Lovecraft, from at least a few of his stories, which I've been re-reading over break. Although I've never really been attracted much to "in-betweens", but I suspect that's because, at least in my inner life, betweens are fairly rare and denote nothing happening, the extremes are what I watch out for and think of. For me, the threshold is seldom as interesting as the contrast between where I've left and where I've arrived. Although I do have a fondness for ambiguity, it's not really from a love of in-between, but more a sense of blurred lines (which are characteristic of in-between, but not to be found there exclusively)

prosphoros said...

BD, not really related, but what's happened to the queer/marginalia carnival? I've worked up the gumption to submit (I think).

prosphoros said...

BD, not really related, but what's happened to the queer/marginalia carnival? I've worked up the gumption to submit (I think).

belledame222 said...

piny had the date as January something, right? he'll have to post an update. (hi piny! post a reminder!)

nexy said...

"Magic happens in the liminal spaces."

what a poignant pronouncement. i think of october 31st - halloween or samhain, depending on your proclivity. or midnight. or dusk.

i am also reminded of my youth, when i was a musician (i am now just an instrument owner). the guitar of choice in those days was the fender stratocaster (think jimi hendricks), which featured a switch that allowed the user to choose from three different pick-up configurations (the "pick-up" is the electronic transponder that converts the sound from the metal strings into electronic impulses which then can be amplified - sorry for the possibly too technical explanation).

anyway, some of the more experienced (or lucky) stratocaster players discovered that if the switch were placed inbetween two of the switch positions, an amazing new sound could be produced.

years later, the engineers at fender, discovered that musicians were using this "inbetween" switch position as a matter of course, and designed two additional switch positions on subsequent models. i own such an example of this type of model.

i have since wondered if now, 4 new "inbetween" positions are possible.

anyway, sorry for the diversion. back to the scheduled thread...