It is now a year since I wrote my first post on the theme of At The Edge. Last month I presented the poems from this exploration. I felt that I both experienced and communicated what it was I had been exploring: from the sense of separation and being at the edge during Long Covid, to the aliveness of being at the edge of the woods, to the sense of inevitable change that the edge of the sea brings, to the awareness of the edge between life and death – and finally to the challenges that our world faces at the edge of extinction. I was asked, “What next?” My immediate internal response was, “I step beyond the edge.”
There was both fear and desire in this response. It was so inevitable. If I am to continue, this is what I must do to stretch my creativity and (as someone recently described it) to grow my imaging heart. So, in my imagination, I have been sensing what stepping beyond the edge means to me.
I am in a dark and desolate landscape. The ground seems to be bare, coarse sand, very firm underfoot. There is a flame in my heart that lights up the space nearby, but beyond this is darkness. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know how to proceed here. I don’t know what will be expected of me here. Basically, it’s all “I don’t know.”
I decide to devote, for a while, some time each week to being here and seeing what happens and what I feel.
I am deeply aware that this image is a metaphor for what life is actually like. I have all that my life experience has taught me – and still I don’t know anything really. What can guide me? Can I find a way to feel at home in the unknown?
Screaming swifts know the way above.
Dolphins below enjoy connection and freedom.
My porous body breathes air
that is earth, sea, and sky.
When moving beyond the edge
angels offer wings.