My Dad depended on binaries, true or false his only lens. On the phone with him years ago, I once casually referred to my lover Jeannie instead of my roommate Jeannie. I could almost feel him stagger backwards as he hollered for my mother, Marie! to come to the phone to rescue him. It was a horror for his small mind to consider something outside his binaries, and he seemed to quickly bury the experience. Binary thinking feels safe. Right/wrong, yes/no, good/bad, start/finish. It creates a world where things are black or white.
Halloween is a liminal time of year, liminal meaning occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a threshold. It strikes me as an auspicious time to look beyond the veil of all binary perceptions. What are our absolutes? Let’s be bold enough to disinter and examine them, to find the heretofore hidden gradations (the grey between the black and white) between their absolute end points. There is always a continuum filled with increments, a whole range of ways of doing things, an entire spectrum of ways of being. Intersex, for example, falls on the midpoint of the gender spectrum, binaries of male and female at either end. Absolutism will never make a world that works for everyone, as we are seeing so clearly in the ramifications of today’s US politics.
I dare us—to explore and explode our own binaries! The doorways of perception are inviting us.