The Space Between Worlds by Lisa Hunt-Wotton

Sometimes the best map will not guide you

You can’t see what’s round the bend,

Sometimes the road leads through dark places

Sometimes the darkness is your friend (1).

The Space Between Worlds.  
‘The place between two world views is a liminal place. It is a place of dying and rebirth, even of metamorphosis, the place where the caterpillar spins its cocoon and disappears from view. Liminality is Israel in the desert, Jesus in the tomb'(Leonard Hjalmarson).
The Latin word limina means threshold.

‘Liminality is where all transformation happens. It is when we are betwixt and between, and therefore by definition “not in control.” Nothing new happens as long as we are inside our self-constructed comfort zone. Much of our day to day effort at life is toward maintaining our personal little world.

Richard Rohr comments that,

“Nothing good or creative emerges from business as usual. This is why much of the work of God is to get people into liminal space, and to keep them there long enough so they can learn something essential. It is the ultimate teachable space.. maybe the only one. Most spiritual giants try to live lives of “chronic liminality” in some sense. They know it is the only position that insures ongoing wisdom, broader perspective and ever-deeper compassion”(2).


Few of us choose  liminal space. Instead, God usually has to engineer the journey.  When I think of liminal space I always think of the story of Jonah and the whale.  Jonah was going one way, he got thrown overboard, swallowed and then spat up on a foreign shore.

Have you ever feel swallowed up,  left in a dark place and then spat out.  Welcome to liminal space.

This is a poem that I wrote about liminal space.  For Mondays Meditation it would be good for you to spend 5 min with your eyes closed, meditating on this topic.  Think about the times when you have been in the space between worlds.  Maybe you are in that space now. Does it help to have language for how you are feeling?


The Space Between Worlds

Poem and Art by Lisa Hunt-Wotton


If there is water there is a boat

If there is an ocean there is a whale

If there is a storm there is darkness


Swallowed by grief

Left in the dark

Shipwrecked in the belly of a whale

Spit up on a foreign shore

Abandoned, desolate forsaken forlorn


Liminal space the space between worlds

A portal of pain beyond your control

No way to to back

No way to move forward

Until you drop the anchor of anger

Which tethers you to an impossible past

An umbilical chord of pain incapable of life


Drop the anchor

Cut the chord

Leave the whole bloody mess behind.

‘Friendship .. and community .. are critical pieces in the journey forward. In order to embrace the new we have to grieve the loss of the old. Few of us are capable of doing that work alone: grief requires community and friendship'(Leonard Hjalmarson).



1 Bruce Cockburn, “Pacing the Cage.” From The Charity of Night, 1995. Golden Mountain Music Corporation. BMI

2 Richard Rohr. “Days Without Answers in a Narrow Space.” National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 2002


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Love Lisa

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5 Comments on “The Space Between Worlds

  1. I would like to know more about Jonah and liminality. I want to develop a means of socializing/initiating young men in Northern Japan.


  2. Liminal space is that pause between the movements of Vivaldi’s symphony ‘Four Seasons’. The orchestra plays the first movement ‘Winter’ with all its somber tones. Then there is a pause. The conductor puts down his baton. The string section put down their bows. First time concert goers wonder what has happened. Is that the end? After a period of silence the conductor raises his baton and the orchestra begins the sweet harmony of the next movement (season) Spring. This liminal space is where the Holy Spirit ministers to our brokenness. It is never a time of hurt, but a time of healing.

    Liked by 1 person

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