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The Story of Between

Summer Canyon

To do the possible, the old way works fine. When we have a map from A to B, we can just follow the directions. Now is not that time. The calculable results are not enough. We need miracles. We have caught a glimpse of our destination, the destination that hope foretells, but we have no idea how to get there. We walk an invisible path with no map and cannot see where any turning will lead.  ~Charles Eisenstein

We are in between. Between the old story that is disintegrating and the new story that wants to be told.

A pitfall in this place is the urge to fall back on familiar habits. Familiar maps and methods. Those can be comforting and create the illusion of safety. But they take us back towards the territory we have resolved to leave. They must be used sparingly and with awareness of their origins.

The utility of logic is limited here. My mind can help me with minor calculations, like how to traverse a certain dune, or the best place to cross an arroyo. But it’s useless in answering the question “how do I get where I am going?”

My best tools now are patience and intuition. Wendell Berry says we no longer have the luxury of hurrying. That was the old way of reckless miscalculation. Of fits and starts. Of arrogant blundering. Now we must be patient and listen.

Instead of a compass I’m left with my heart. And though it is full of longing, I can’t discern any direction in particular.

What my heart wants is already here. It is called in all directions and none. Arriving into the ten thousand things. The air ringing with meadowlark. Quartz siblings kissing the sun. Pollen rising and falling.

The clouds murmur “tell me your story.”


  1. I’m so grateful you posted this. I have been aware for a time that I am in a slow-down mode. I used to run here and there always looking for an answer. To realize I don’t even know the question enabled me to slow down, take deep breaths, and let it unfold as it needs to. Thank you.

    • Not knowing the question is a great way to put it, Brenda. I’ve been in an in-between place for a while myself. There is such pressure to give myself a hard time and goad myself into action – any action will do in the old story, as long as I keep moving. So much harder to be still and listen. So much harder to have faith that I will recognize and act on the true heart opportunities, instead of flailing willy nilly out of some false need to stay in motion. Hope you savor your slow-down and honor it as a sacred time. Because it is.

  2. Yes, indeed…if we release our addiction to Rajas, we will flow toward Sattva.

    • 🙂

  3. Beautiful reminder to go into the unknown– this can apply to anything and even our approach to bigger things happening (like creating a new consciousness of interconnectedness and living in harmony with the Earth).

    • You’re so right. It seems to me that intuition and deep listening are the only ways we’ll be able to do those things that you mention. We have to be in the energy of receptivity and relationship, instead of the current pattern of arrogantly assuming we know what’s needed. Humility seems like another vital quality that we require. Better to adopt that one willingly than learn it the hard way!

  4. When Mary Ruefle came round to wondering, yet again, why she writes, she discovered she “had not yet heard” to what she had been listening. Your thoughtful post reminded me of Ruefle’s words, which, to me, seem yet another expression of being in-between. As you say, the old way of “any action will do” is simply not what to do, although I am amazed at how many times I will resort to old behaviors, whether or not they were successful. Thank you for this beautifully reflective post.

    • I would be lying if I said patient listening in the between place is easy for me. This was written mostly as a reminder to myself of what’s required of me. Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

  5. Ruth, thanks for reading some of my posts at Tending time. It is a relatively new blog for me and since I’m not on any of the social networks, readership is still tiny. But I am so happy to ‘meet’ you, the discovery of one more traveller on the ‘road between’ is so heartening. As you may also have read, Charles E says that it can be lonely holding a new story in the midst of the old, and we need friends/community along the way to help us do it.
    I love this post and hope we will be in touch.
    kind regards,
    (my other blog is – exploring in a more public way what alternative paths for artists might be at this time, as well as updates on my work.

    • Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking the time to read and comment. The between place can be bewildering and a place where company is invaluable.I am enjoying reading about your walks, and hearing the insights that arise from the spaciousness you are creating in your world. 🙂

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