The Liminal Stage

Navigating a modern world with the help of time-tested traditions

What is a Liminal Stage?

Liminal stages are psychological thresholds, times of transition when we stand "betwixt and between" one state and another. The biggies are birth, marriage, death-cultures develop splashy rituals around these transitions to ease the anxiety they provoke. For the smaller, but significant, crossroads we traverse every day, I offer the celebrations, superstitions, and coping mechanisms found in this blog.

Have Ritual, Will Travel

Moving in--notice the brand new ring on my finger.

Well, it’s the End Times. Which explains why I’m having so many revelations lately. Maybe that’s a little dramatic. I’m fairly confident it’s not the end of the world. But it is the end of our time in Miami. See, on Monday we move back to New York, after three years in Miami Beach. And […]

A Life Less Ordinary

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Yesterday morning, while 64-year-old Diana Nyad was swimming from Cuba to Florida without the protection of a shark cage, succeeding, on her fifth attempt, in becoming the first person to do so, my  52-year-old cousin Spyro Economou had a massive heart attack at his home and died in the ambulance on the way to the […]

Casita, Sweet Casita

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When Amalía gets tired, she turns to me or her father and says “go to casita.” She knows the word “home,” but it’s not exactly what she intends to say. Casita means “little house,” but it doesn’t refer to size in this case (although it’s true, Amalía has never spent more than a few nights […]

Lockdown in Lia: Larger than Life Days in Our Tiny Village

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After a whirlwind three weeks of weddings (my cousin’s on the Peloponnesian coast), ruins (the Byzantine city of Butrint in what is now Albania), and beaches (too numerous to mention), I thought we’d end our annual trip to Greece with a few relaxing days in Lia, the quiet village where my father was born, which […]

The Metamorphosis in Miami: On Motherhood and “the Mati”

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When I walked into this bathroom this morning and saw the dying cockroach, flailing it’s little feelers and all six legs, that’s when I knew I needed an exorcism. I know what you’re thinking: an exorcism is a bit of an overreaction. Surely some Raid would do the trick? But the cockroach was just the […]

The Littlest Critic–What My Toddler Taught Me about Writing

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When I wrote my first novel, Other Waters, I was a graduate student in the Writing Division of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, so I had the benefit of hearing lots and lots of other people’s opinions about my work. The core of the program was the workshop, a weekly seminar in which you […]

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