Slice 31 of 31: Thresholds


When I was in college, I had an English professor who always talked about thresholds. Literally, “the plank, stone, or piece of timber that lies under a door,” threshold is also described as the END; BOUNDARY, “the place or point of entering or beginning.” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary) I’m pretty sure it was that contrast that appealed to her: how can it be the end and the point of entering at the same time? It’s really all about the perspective we choose to take.

Brondum's Annex by Anna Ancher
Brondum’s Annex by Anna Ancher

So I’m thinking of today as a threshold, not as the end. This month has lived up to the term “challenge.” I had to let go of my paralyzing fear of posting something that was less than perfect. Because I did, I was free write some things I might not have ever written.

The welcoming community of writers also made it possible for me to learn and grow. So much amazing writing has been done this month! And the comments of praise and encouragement were more helpful than you can ever know. I appreciate each and every one of them.

But, as I said, this is not the end. Rather, it is the beginning of a new writing life for me. One in which I’m more attuned to keeping my eyes open for new ideas and insights. One in which I make time every day to write.

Because we’re on the threshold of National Poetry Month, I’d like to leave you with this poem by Rita Dove. I think it applies to writing as well:

The First Book

Open it.

Go ahead, it won’t bite.

Well…maybe a little.

More a nip, like. A tingle.

It’s pleasurable, really.

You see, it keeps on opening.

You may fall in.

Sure, it’s hard to get started:

remember learning to use

knife and fork? Dig in:

You’ll never reach bottom.

It’s not like it’s the end of the world–

just the world as you think

you know it.

Thank you so much to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting this Slice of Life Challenge!

7 thoughts on “Slice 31 of 31: Thresholds

  1. I’m big on thresholds. It’s the influence of Emile Zola on my work -the threshold and the near-tangible. The coming close to change/collision. Loved this post.


  2. I’m glad this is only a threshold. I just subscribed to your blog, and I am so looking forward to keeping up with you. Thank you for all of your kind words and support over at my place. And thank you for sharing your own here. It WAS kind of scary. I agree. I’m glad you were fearless : )


  3. One of the essays that TC uses as a mentor text is by Shana and she talks about learning that a beginning means that there is also an ending. It’s a realization that has stayed with me and your post has the same message even more eloquently. I have loved getting to know people through their writing and I really do hope that I get to meet you again, either at TC or in CT. Take good care, Catherine!


  4. I love that photo of the door (threshold)-so beautiful, as is the poem by Rita Dove, which I just copied and printed. Thank you for your supportive words too, Catherine. I’ll look forward to seeing you on Tuesdays, I hope. Your post was a wonderful way to connect to both the end and the beginning!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s