What is happening on the edge between one place and another?

I have experienced the sense of being on the edge, or being between, neither one thing/place nor another, much of my life.  Growing up, I always felt on the edge in my family and my peer group.  On the edge was the place I could most clearly see what was going on – and thereby keep myself as safe as possible.  But it is a lonely place to be.  My father was English and my mother American.  Having spent most of my childhood and adolescence in the US, I moved to England at the age of 21.  I used to say it felt like I was treading water mid-Atlantic.  I didn’t feel English in England, nor American in America.  What do I feel now?

On the edge has many meanings, but which is the deepest?

Generally: On the edge of environmental collapse?  On the edge of being in or out of a pandemic?  On the edge of social collapse?  On the edge of global renewal?  On the seasonal edge?

Personally: On the edge of being well or unwell?  On the edge of society in general?  On the edge of old age, illness and death?  On the edge of some deep understanding?

On the edge of meadow and woodland seems to be where wildlife abounds, at least where the most available activity can be observed.  I like sitting down at the edge of the woods, in the grass, on a tree or under a shrub, and waiting.  Beings begin to appear.  I wrote the following poem this summer, while I was still very much in the Long Covid state.


On The Edge


On the edge between

meadow and hedge,

a glittering golden beetle

rests on a bull thistle blossom,

barely bending its amethyst spikes.


A dark brown ringlet flutters

over bramble and briar,

opening its wings finally

on a tender, downy leaf.


The earth exudes foams

of grasses that bend

in the breeze, shaking off

small clouds of pollen.


Up on a wire a greenfinch

wheezes – over and over.

My breath comes shallowly.

I want to lie down –

resting, opening, being

butterfly and beetle.


I cannot know them –

so stumble and dream

along the path,

slowly going nowhere –

on the edge between

being and not being.

Author: MaryAb

Born in upstate New York. Moved to the UK in 1971. At home in Devon.

Author: MaryAb

Born in upstate New York. Moved to the UK in 1971. At home in Devon.

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