Liminal

lim·i·nal
/ˈlimənl/

adjective

1. relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.

2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

What is a liminal space?

This is a very dorky page and I am not sorry. The concept of liminal spaces, or what is liminal is pretty subjective. To me, it is the space between – places that are designed to be ignored, to transport you from one destination to another. What makes them “a thing” – is when they stop being filled with bustling people occupying the in-between, they come sharply into focus, and feel somehow wrong. You are standing in the bokeh, background noise suddenly overtaking the plot. They are totally mundane and familiar places, but in their emptiness they feel foreign. Abandoned office buildings, dying malls, run down gas stations in the middle of the night, with a clerk who looks like she stepped out of an episode of Roseanne and is painfully bored of our version of reality – if you let them, they can transport you for just a moment. In these spaces, you feel like you’ve stepped out of time.

Ok, but Y THO?

There is the nerdy, hipster reason – and there is the (possibly even more hipster) feelsy, nostalgic reason.

I’ve always loved shitty indie movies. Not the artsy kind, the cheesy chick flicks that you never heard of but found by the armful lining shelves at Video Update. These spaces are distinctly “shitty indie movie” feels, and when you stand in them alone, you can pretend for a few minutes that you matter, that you’re the main character in the post-apocalyptic movie version of your life. I should feel ashamed to admit it – I’m not. Fuck shame.

The nostalgic reason is not that. The feelsy reason is that when I was a kid, I spent too much time alone in the empty skyways of downtown St. Paul. I’ve wandered those halls for my entire life, and can still get lost. There are places I stumbled upon there that I’ve never been able to find since. As a kid with a wild imagination and few friends, it was a silent, lonesome kingdom for me to explore. These spaces remind me of that feeling, the magic possibility of it all.

 

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