The transitional space: we’re all in it

by Jay Hiller, November 10, 2022

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

About a year ago, I read this book by George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo, without ever understanding what a bardo is. It wasn’t until I heard the author on a fiction podcast that I understood that a bardo is a transitional space. The time between we’re born and the time we die is a bardo. This concept is upsetting if you’re a control freak who wants to know the end and be sure that the whole journey will be safe. Of course, that’s impossible. My grandparents knew that without a doubt.

I’m in a weird bardo this week, still feeling sick and feeling confident that I’ll eventually feel better. My mom’s dog, mine now, kept me company this afternoon. I wondered if he used to lie by my mom’s bed when she was sick. She talked about feeling better and I knew she was only going to feel worse.

Today’s workout was coughing so hard my abs hurt. I also am drinking red Gatorade, a drink I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole under normal circumstances–metabolic syndrome, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, diabetes. It didn’t take long for my standards to fall. My husband said it would make me feel better and it did. It was nice of him to make it for me.

I’m going back to watching Dubai Bling (or is it Bling Dubai) on Netflix now.

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