In truth, I always experience a heady euphoria as I walk through an airport in a happy state of disorientation. I adore the notion that nobody knows exactly where I am and I have escaped the shackles my humdrum life.
I refer to this experience as being in liminal space. Liminality transpires when you’re in a state of being in between two states, whether it be jobs, relationships or places. In these magical places of potential and transformation, you can let go of the roles and rules that define your daily life and explore new ways of being. Liminal space can be physical, like a doorway or threshold, or it can be abstract, like a state of mind or period of transition.
Clearly, airports are an “in-between” space between your point of origin and destination. The liminal nature of airports allows for unique boundary-shattering experiences between home and away, as well as work and leisure.
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, however, liminal space is most acutely felt while we are en route from one place to another. Our “enlarged powers” and “poetic creativeness” are found not in staying at home or traveling, but in transitioning from one to the other. He labelled these experiences as crossings.
In my case, that means using the inherent mind-altering qualities of liminal space in flight as sacred moments for deep reflection. When I’m soaring over the ocean in a Boing 787, I tend to reverentially gaze through the porthole window and wax philosophical. I cherish these surreal times because I feel most at peace with myself and the world.
In my day-to-day existence, my present situation seems fixed but during a “crossing,” I sense just how fluid my circumstances truly are. Whatever has been in the past need not be in the future. Life is malleable so I can let my losses inspire me, let change occur and let my dreams fully manifest.
Often as I sit at the gate eagerly awaiting to board my flight, I have come to see that just as my journey is in process, so is my life.