Transition through the middle place

Prompted by witnessing a person in the education world flip between “our students are adult learners- it’s their fault if they can’t organise their education schedule” to “don’t burden the poor little things with too many resources- we have to stage their education in developmental steps” I found myself thinking about what construction might lie between these two extremes. What is the middle place? And how quickly do we transition through it without noticing?

You know the middle place right? It’s that place between right and wrong, between yes and no, between can and can’t. How free or encouraged are we to dwell there? What is it about having to declare ourselves or state something clearly? How many people who value ambivalence, procrastination or indecisiveness do we exclude because we have a subconscious need for certainty? (I use “subconscious” here with my tongue firmly in my cheek.. not really a fan of giving away to professionals my right to put words to those nebulous-feelings-and-experiences-that-I-haven’t-yet-storied before they do! Yep, I had to re-read that last sentence, so I hope it makes sense)

Anyhow, back to the middle place. How can we dwell more there? There’s something “uncomfortable” for me about the undeclared, unclarified, intangible state of sensing but not knowing, suspecting but not being able to nail it, and so on.

I’m a great fan of procrastination. To me it’s that hovering that gives more import to the final action. I’m not a detractor from decisiveness, though. I just think procrastination is vastly under-rated.

Thankyou procrastination for protecting me from hasty, ill considered, expedient or simplistic decision making. We have heaps of that in the world, and I’ve done my fair share of that. Thankyou uncertainty for forcing me to become more comfortable with not-having-all-the-answers! (thanks medical training for rewarding me for having all the answers and contributing to the arrogance that plagues me!)

Thankyou pondering, for forcing me to consider the multitude of ramifications for potential actions. Thankyou wondering for taking me away from the harsh consequences of pragmatism and into the multidimensional world of second guessing other people’s responses and what makes up their world.

And to you tricksters thanks for teaching me the down-side of that middle place. Thanks postponement for tricking me into having my energy rush and panicky preparation that makes me retrospectively and with regret, value planning. Thanks distraction for keeping me entertained and less stressed, reserving that experience for the rush to the finish line- thanks for helping me not start my sprint too early, but maybe you could take a little more of a holiday sometimes!

Here’s to the middle place.. dwelling where the stories aren’t quite clear. And here’s to joining with people who spend time in that space, and asking them what it’s like and what they want or need.

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