The In-Between
J. Dianne Dotson – Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer – The In-Between

There comes a point during the winter holidays that begins to take on a strange mix of anticlimax and anticipation. The gifts were long since opened, but the New Year beckons. What day is it? What year? What decade? At this moment in 2019, I wonder all of these things, and think about the journey I’ve made. I also reach for another cookie, while there’s still one to be had, but I digress…

I do not know the hour or the day. I know my work deadline. I know when the clock will strike midnight on December 31st and mark another arbitrary moment we humans like to place on our lives. During this time I follow my body.

And now I am truly in-between. I am not quite well, and not quite sick. I am not quite devastated, and not quite okay. It is more than the usual diaphanous feeling that these days at the waning of the year typically bring. Because this year…

This year.

But I’ve made it. Somehow.

This year, I’ve stretched the limits of what I can achieve, and what my body and soul can handle. I feel that stretching keenly right now. I’m pushing, pushing, trying to get everything done that I need to do. Trying to send every good wish to those I care about who are far away. 

My leg hurts less, my spirit hurts more, and I wonder how best to use the time given to me now and in the coming year. There are things I want to bake, places I want to drive, plane travel I must schedule at some point (despite my distaste for it). There are conventions to plan for, and a book to publish, and another book to finish, and other projects to start or complete.

It tires me to think about that.

So I reach for another cookie.

And really, as I convalesce and can’t quite exert a lot of energy, maybe that’s really acceptable. This in-between phase is a time to rest, indulge in what my body craves, and to release expectations. I look through a multi-faceted lens as I dip a brush into watercolor, as I knead bread dough, as I type words upon words upon words, because that last is all can really do… for writing is my oxygen.

I say, celebrate this in-between. Be kind to yourself and to others. Feel unmoored for a bit. This year slips below the horizon. Another dawn beckons. Let’s walk toward it on quiet feet.



Image Credit: Lantern photographed by J. Dianne Dotson Copyright 2019.