There is a silence in the room; an eerie, lingering void in the air surrounding me and it is holding me still. There is an unknowing, an uncertainty, an unwillingness and a question that I cannot seem to answer. I think they call this the middle ground. I find myself here and although familiar – it remains unrecognizable, strange and a place from which I am certain I must escape. Middle ground – old friend – release your hold on me before I kick your ass.
I never kicked anyone’s ass in my life. Once there was this girl in Union Park Florida who called me names because I was the new kid on the block. She tormented me and made fun of my family and spread ugly rumors about me and a boy named Walter. I should have kicked her ass – but I just didn’t have it in me – never have – and never will. I just got through each day the best I could – ignored her attempts to unhinge me – excelled in sports and academics and before too long I was no longer the target of someone else’s insecurities – I was just me – good enough to be better than all the make believe bullshit she tried to sell. In the end and in its own way – truth is certain and shows itself at just the right time and takes care of all it is destined to take care of.
Truth and time and the road less traveled (clichéd pathway to all my tomorrows) lead us to the places we have yet to find. And with life’s journey come the ups and downs, the hills and valleys, the highs and lows and more often than not the fucked up middle ground. The place we find between hope and certainty, knowing and pretending, staying or going and dreaming or living. The middle ground — if we are ever going to leap forward into the possibility of what the future holds – is a painful place of necessity. The middle ground – the place we find ourselves so that we can clear the slate – redefine our truth and be reminded that when we close the door behind us maybe the door in front of us won’t be too hard to open and will beckon us into better days.
It never gets easier – the in between place – it never gets easier to live on the island. Although the lessons are there to learn and the voices are screaming to be heard – the in between place can destroy us if we let it. It can chain us down, tear us to shreds and take the hope from us. It can be the thing that defeats us for the rest of our lives. It can be a place of transition, transformation, indifference and deep introspection. It can be a holding ground. It can cause an internment of our spirit and be an extended reprieve from all the living we have been promised.
The middle ground can be many things. I believe and have experienced that if we are diligent, and if we are in touch with more than just the world’s expectations, the middle ground can be defined as the time and place for rejuvenation, reconstruction, rebuilding and rebirth. For me, the middle ground is an uncomfortable blessing in disguise. I have come to believe that perhaps it is life’s oasis – an illusion on the horizon that ultimately provides us with what we need so that we can continue our journey forward.
We simply need to pay attention and keep our heart open and free of blame, anger, frustration and regret so that with a little luck and perseverance we move onward into what happens next – without having to kick anybody’s ass.
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.