What links Irenya O’Neil and the realm of Dar Orien to Covid19 and a state of transformation?
The word liminality enhances my understanding of what it means to be human. The term limen comes from the Latin for threshold, and what an appropriate narrative it is for Planet Earth, 2020 – 2021. We have left our ‘comfortable normality’ behind, and right now, we can only guess at what life will be like on the other side. The transitional state of liminality may be a small domestic moment we hardly notice, or it may last for years. As the last seventeen months have shown us, the long-term result, on many levels, can be painful, and exhausting.
The death of someone very close, or the shock of losing your job after years of loyalty, will leave you in a liminal state, the shift from one reality to another. You may no longer be sure of where you are, or even who you are, as Irenya O’Neil discovers in “Songbird”, the first volume of my GriffinSong Trilogy.
Liminal accurately describes Irenya’s journey. Her arrival in the alternate world of Dar Orien signifies that she has crossed a physical threshold, but has yet to complete the transition across mental, spiritual and sensory boundaries. She is standing on the threshold between two worlds, on the verge of something new and praying for the chance to return home, unaware that she is actually waiting for transformation. For her, it is a state of being that is distressing and relentless. It’s a state that threatens to tear a vulnerable woman to pieces.
Liminal also describes the realm of Dar Orien and its inhabitants. They too, are on a threshold, waiting for transformation, yet hamstrung by their inability to see beyond the tenets they have accepted for millennia. The liminal state does not allow a return to where you were; that particular place and moment is gone, as Irenya comes to realise.
In GriffinSinger, Vol 2, released earlier this year, Irenya finds a new state of grace, which, in the year 2021, is something we’d all hoped to find. Fleetwalker, Vol 3, is due for release later this year.