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Tealight Talks - "Liminal Space" Part 1

Each month, the editors of Tealight Press interview each other with questions based on the months theme. For this months 'Tealight Talks', Sash interviews Matt on Tealight's topic for October, "Liminal Space."

Is there a physical space in your local area or somewhere in the world that really creeps you out? What's mysterious and eerie about it?

There's a hill/woodland not far from where I live that's around 100 acres and it's full of eerie things. There's an old windmill, observatory, concealed tunnels, and lots of rock-carvings dating back to 1000 AD. There's lots of local myths and legends of ghosts and witches around the area (it's also been the site of some more recent tragic and brutal events which I wasn't aware of until after I visited). I went during winter a few years ago and me and my friends didn't see another soul - it was freezing cold and the woods must've recently had a fire because part of the woods was burnt and filled with ash. Overall, it was quite a creepy experience!

Liminal spaces are the space between one place and another. Can you tell us about a time when you've been caught between two important decisions?

Currently! The two decisions I'm between at the moment are 1) leaving where I currently am (I've lived here for years now and it's been the backdrop of many of my major life events) 2) settling in the place I want to go (another place I've always loved but don't know nearly as well). It seems like it's a definite change that's going to be made, but it can't logistically for a while yet. I'm excited and feel like I'm in limbo between here and the next place. 

Various mundane locations, such as rest stops and hotels, where we are only meant to stay for a limited time, may be seen as liminal spaces. What's the best (and/or most interesting) hotel you've ever stayed in? 

I stayed in a small hotel in Reykjavík a few winters ago in the middle of a snow-storm. It was originally supposed to be a place to stop and rest at the end of each day but a lot of what I had planned was cancelled due to the weather so I ended up inside more than I had anticipated. I loved my tiny room and the chance to be solitary for a while, watching the snow storm rage outside. It was definitely a fun and introspective experience.

In liminal spaces, rules dissolve and the order of things may be reversed. If you met a mirror-verse version of yourself, what do you think they would be like? (Bonus question: Would you get along well, or not?)

This is such an interesting and difficult question to answer. I think I'd be fine with my my mirror-self, but I'm not sure they would me. I consider myself a very patient person and I can get along with a lot of things so I think I'd be fine with most of my mirror-self's traits. For example if I did something to upset them they'd probably be much more upfront and confrontational about it which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they might not like that I wouldn't be as open about issues I had with them. They'd probably have a lot of traits that I'd admire (hopefully vice versa for at least some!), so I think I'd definitely be slightly in awe of them. 

Liminality is associated with thresholds and boundaries. Have you ever crossed a physical boundary in order to explore a place you shouldn't have, or is there somewhere off-limits that you wish you could enter?

I'm very into watching urban exploration videos and there's so many places I wish I could enter. There's lots of local ones I really enjoy as I love seeing the other side of these places that are so familiar from the outside but totally unknown to me on the inside. There's a really beautiful synagogue I pass regularly that's been abandoned for years now. I've seen videos of people exploring the inside and it was so elaborate and ornate and it seems like such a shame that it has no real purpose now, but I love imagining how it was in it's glory days. It's always fascinating to see people discovering what was left behind. There's an abandoned oil rig off the coast of Cromarty Firth in Scotland that I would love to possibly explore one day. 

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