A voice on the radio shot a word into my sleepy brain this morning. It was interstitiality.
I had set my alarm to 'snooze' so I could slide back into that delicious half-awake state that begins the day. Suddenly I was focused, because the words coming from the speaker were so beautiful. Margaret Coffey, on the ABC program Encounter was interviewing a Catholic priest, a yogi and a Tibetan Buddhist monk who have set up an interfaith community in Melbourne.
I had a vague idea that the word interstice means the spaces in between atoms. So what did that have to do with spirituality? Swami Samnyasanand, who comes from a Himalayan yoga tradition, explained that the three men regard themselves as representing an interstitial zone in the spiritual life of our community - a meeting place. Water meets land, or day meets night. Dawn. Sunset. Beach. River bank.
These have been the subject of poetry and storytelling from ancient times. Powerful images.
The Swami spoke about the beauty of the sea at sunrise and sunrise and described the way you can sit there in silence to experience the moment where time and place intersect. I think we've all had experiences where we become sparklingly aware of the life of the world around us. It adds an extra dimension for me to be able to put a name to this kind of moment.
I had encountered the word before today, but now I know it in a different way. I think it will stay with me.