It means threshold. That place between where you started and where you’re going. That place with no clear sense of what you’ll see next, you only know you’ve stepped out into it. The path to the gate is before you, but the gate itself? Formless and shifting in the swirling clouds of mist that is your Great Life Plan.
There’s a total whiteout beyond the gate. A blizzard. A fog. A driving rain. That shit’s dangerous. You could get lost in that. Wander off and never find your way home. Freeze to death, drown in a flash flood, fall off a cliff. Much better to stay here on the threshold, just behind the screen door, where it’s still safe and warm.
Not as safe and warm as it was inside the house, of course, but that door’s locked behind you and you already threw your keys out of the window in a fit of pique.
It was warm in there, but the air was stale and no one wanted to open any windows for fear the weather would blow in and shuffle their papers and cool their coffee too quickly.
So you threw on your warmest jacket, put your coffee in a travel mug, flung the keys, flipped everyone the bird and stepped outside. Now the jacket isn’t as warm as you thought it was, the coffee is finished and no one would open the door for you even if you knocked.
Even if you wanted to knock.
You know there’s a train out there, just out the gate, across the field, over the next hill and through the tunnel to the station. It’s warm and safe and has a power point for your computer so you don’t even have to stop working while you travel. You already bought your ticket, you just need to get there.
And we all know visibility is about where you’re standing. So until you get walking, you won’t see a thing.
Hypothermia sets in faster if you keep still.