So how are we to derive meaning from such shadowiness? What we can say with certainty is that there is no certainty to our existence. But to be fearful of or overwhelmed by choice, possibility, and even one's own freedom need not be a defining crisis, as it is remediable. It's important to resist any temptation to flee towards any illusory shelters of safety or certainty; to do so merely prolongs a state of imbalance and dissatisfaction. To anticipate a state of constant change and in-betweenness is to direct it, if not towards a finite end but towards a meaningful existence.

To declare that existence is absurd is to deny that it can ever be given a meaning; to say that it is ambiguous is to assert that its meaning is never fixed, that it must be constantly won ... human transcendence must cope with the same problem: it has to found itself, though it is prohibited from ever fulfilling itself. (Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity)
The act of reaching, then, is a permanent condition. To reach is to act not so much in hope of grasping, but in hope of living. Here is all boldness and all meaning. The universe is expanding at such a rate that we shall never fill our worlds — here is all poetical and physical duty. Here are the gods who make new constellations to light the dark emptinesses, who swing new orbits of light and gossamer.


*   *   *


— An Ending That is Like a Beginning —

"Non sans un système subtil d'esquives." (Not without a system of subtle feints.) — Foucault, Les Mots et les Choses


Having discussed some of the various kinds of border states and how they might inform a creative life, I now have the awkward task of drawing a conclusion. I've used ambiguous language to describe ambiguous regions. What we can know about these fundamentally mutable regions we can only apprehend in the slippery generic sense, and even then only through a contrivance of "subtle feints" or dodges. I've kept my foot on certain aspects in order to describe one and then another in succession, but in reality they work in shifting concert. To address this subject is to fight the Hydra, and I've failed to articulate anything here that can be said to be complete or conclusive.

But perhaps the important thing to be said in summary is just that: that the border state is not a conclusive state. And yet it is an essential state. It is an eternal flux of being neither here nor there, but free of nihilism — it is the permanent change that gives us permanent possibility.