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Holy Saturday: A Stop in the Twilight Zone

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

A day about nothing…no thing…nothingness…

For a day that doesn’t even have a place in the church’s Easter Triduum (says something about our preference for action over contemplation)…from this place of nothingness…a lot emerged…

There’s a lot hidden in the silence…in the pauses (rests) between the notes…

"Silence is God's first language," wrote the 16th-century mystic John of the Cross – to which Thomas Keating adds “Everything else is a poor translation.”


  • Waiting

  • Liminal space – a place between then and later

  • We are now in a global liminal space

  • Time to Stop…Look…Listen

  • Tomb-stone

  • There must be some kind of way out of here…(Dylan-see below)

  • Who’ll roll away the stone (Leon Russell-second stanza-see below)

  • King’s Cross railway station in Harry Potter

  • Mobil Ave underground station in the Matrix

  • License plate frames that say, “I’d rather be…..…”

  • Portal

  • Doorway

  • Fork in the road

  • Limbo

  • Bardo (Tibetan Buddhist)

  • Thin spot

  • Threshold

  • Incarceration

Waiting for…

  • a new baby to arrive

  • medical test results

  • grades to be posted

  • job application answer

  • web page to load

  • the bus (Grateful Dead-see below)

  • the light to change (Beatles-see below)

"Yeah, yeah, yeah"…it can be a place where we do want to “blow our minds out in a car…” as every cell in our body CRIES OUT for resolution, so we can return to our usual lives.

We want to escape!

Many are saying our current global pandemic is truly a global liminal experience…

Liminal space – a transitional place between then and later, between what was and will be…

At the sound of “will be,” my writing Muse (Holy Spirit, Inner Guide, internal Google Search…) served up the name “Willoughby.” Immediately, I remembered that episode from “The Twilight Zone” TV series, and somehow knew I had been reminded of it because it applied to the Holy Saturday times in our lives.

Reading through the Wikipedia article gave me goosebumps, as I recalled the story of a man in a liminal place in his life. (BTW -spelled with a capital “G” – Goosebumps is a book series son John enjoyed in his youth.) More about the Willoughby connection after this sidetrack back to the present - the NOW.

Liminal space – a transitional place between what was and will be, between past and future, between then and later…

…Gee, sounds like “now” – a place that our wisdom guides tell us to inhabit – “Be Here Now” (still have my original copy from the early 70’s).

--posted 3/26/20 “In this interview from 1980, Ram Dass shares a mind-bending conversation with physicist Amit Goswami about the intersection of science and spirituality.

It’s what mindfulness practices help us do – learn how to be present.”

Ram Dass on Finding Your Center - Posted March 27, 2020

--“Instead of waiting for something to happen, flip it just slightly and just be in it. Are you really here or are you just waiting for the next thing? It’s interesting to see where we are in relation to time; whether we’re always just between what just happened and what happens next, or whether we can just be here now.”

On a personal note: In 1972, this holy man, through his book, "Be Here Now," introduced me for the first time to a G-d of love in the person of Jesus. My life has never been the same. Lots of "three steps forward and two back" as says my spiritual father, Fr. Richard Rohr OFM, BUT, overall, a forward trajectory!

Remember, we’re all in this liminal space together. The Cosmic Engineer knows where we each need to go; so, stay on the train, stay on the bus and join me while we travel in faith to the End of the Line (seeing who’s playing guitar on this train, the part of the conductor should be played by Ringo Starr – see below).

“Next stop Willoughby…”

Twilight Zone Willoughby clip #1 (0:02:27) – Episode’s opening scene

Twilight Zone Willoughby clip #3 (0:01:40) – SPOILER ALERT: This is the final scene in the episode.

Can I Punch your Ticket for a Few Extra Stops?

First, some virus humor forwarded from my sister Peggy (Thanks, sis!):

“I don't think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we'd go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.” (Freakin’ amazing how stuff shows up in my Inboxes at just the right time…Who says there’s no order, no connectedness in this universe?

“Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.”

Next, Shining Time Station episode: “Is this the End?”

Watch this episode with your children and grandchildren…or just by yourself – ‘cause you an’ me, sister, you an’ me, brother, we’re never alone. We’re always connected to our True Selves, other people and the Station Master. We’re all just traveling and easin’ on down the line…

“Is this the End” - a story about liminal spaces, endings, beginnings and redemption…

Part 1 (0:09:24)

Part 2 (0:09:58)

Part 3 (0:09:00)


--“We stay home. We look out for others. We wait—but for what?”

“Holy Saturday reminds me that one has to learn how to be Christian. When I first came to Christian faith, the day meant nothing to me. It was the blank day between the high dramas of Good Friday and Easter, the day when nothing happened. Jesus was dead and buried. Everyone had gone home to get some rest. In the morning he would rise triumphant from the grave but meanwhile there was nothing to do. The church service — if there was one — lasted no more than fifteen minutes. It seemed rude to go shopping after that, or to check the movie listings. So I puttered the day away, rattling around the house doing nothing much while the clock ticked toward Easter. Holy Saturday was a placeholder, an empty set of parentheses, a waiting room for a train that would not come until morning.

“Excerpt from Barbara Brown Taylor's Westminster Town Forum talk on the exhaustion and emptiness caused by the modern world placing all value on ‘productive time’ and none on ‘downtime’. She encourages us to use interruptions in our "productivity" as sacred opportunities to see a larger truth.”

“Author and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor invites us to consider the lessons that suffering has to teach us and reminds us that we can only learn when we are willing to stay put instead of turning away.”

FYI – was introduced to Rev. Barbara via Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations.

LIMINAL SOUNDS GALLERY - the words of the prophets are written...

Request to Readers: After watching these versions of the Bob Dylan classic, drop me a line letting me know your favorite(s).

--live version though audio and video are a little off. Click here for “DylanTranslate.”

--includes a timely message for all the leaders of the world:

“…So let us not talk falsely now

The hour is getting late"

--picked it ‘cause it’s live. You can find others with better audio.

--PFC always delivers!

Thanks to son John for mentioning Dave’s version that follows.

--for you Cheech & Chong fans – Dave IS here

Viewer Advisory: Next DMB video contains very brief shot of topless female. Only members of censorship committees may proceed.

This next version is NOT a cover…but, the bodies are covered (Fig Leaf Label version)…

Some comments under the video:

“This man brought the party, the funeral and the revival, all at the same time! R.I.P., Mr. Russell--we were graced by your presence, indeed!”

“I t was like going to see a gospel revival. 1973, I was 17....3 1/2 hours later I was exhausted. WHAT A CONCERT!!!”

--creative video version

--could you imagine Jesus singing this from his Saturday sepulchral liminal space…wailing it to the Father he was trusting:

“Roll away the stone

Don't leave me here alone

Resurrect me and protect me

Don't leave me laying here

What will they do in two thousand years?”

--I included this because of the title AND the music!

BTW – The audience looks like they’re dead and in the tomb – badly in need of some resurrection. Perhaps Mott and band were playing before a green screen that depicted people watching paint dry??? Musician hell, for sure...

--“The Other One” is where “the bus” reference originates. It’s the first of three in this set – A Grateful Dead Trinity, if you like.

“…he didn’t notice that the lights had changed…”


Lest we get too serious…

(For Caroline, Buddy and others who resonate with Ignatian spirituality)

Saw the butterfly image below a few years ago. Rather than search through my iPhone for the image, I looked online and found it on a blog written by Philip Chircop. He says this about himself: “An artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful:

· Music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more.

· A student of Life.

· A seeker with bottomless curiosity and unbridled enthusiasm.”

“Young Philip, also an artist at heart, was often asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He always gave the same answer: “An orchestra conductor, a clown and a pilot.”

“[Born in Malta] Philip now lives and works in a Jesuit Community in downtown Toronto. However, he can truthfully say that ‘the road is my home’, as he travels around the world giving retreats and facilitating workshops on practical spirituality. He loves music, painting, sculpture and poetry, and is also an accomplished writer and photographer. His beautiful photos are often thought-provoking, and he himself shines with wisdom and exuberance.”

The end of the line…or the beginning of something new……your choice...


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