The Edge and I

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The person who risks nothing does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. 
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. 

– Leo F. Buscaglia

 

 

I’ve never lived on the Edge.
Or near it, really.
Or in the fabulously fabled Center.
I’ve mostly been mired in this marsh of a Middle.
Like a toothless crocodile.

You know the Edge, the legendary Edge.
Seems everybody else has danced on it in toeshoes.
Bragged about making love on it,
in a sleeping bag under the stars.
Setting fires on it,
sending smoke signals to folks
at the other end of the universe,
sitting on their Edges, sending smoke signals.

I’ve heard tell of the Edge, alright.
But my mother wouldn’t let me go.
It’s different now, though.
Life’s ever so much shorter now.

So call me to the Edge and I will come.
But be sincere.
And stand there and wait for me, like you promised.

Yes, if you call and mean it,
I will come.
I will reach for a branch
and yank myself out of the muck
and begin to walk.

To where the sun shines from.
And the moon shines over.
To where I’ve never been invited before
and am somehow expected now.

Yes, I will trudge to the Edge,
feet heavy with fear and mud from the Middle muck still stuck
and left to dry
and by the time I reach it
I will be free
of the dust of all those centuries.
Clean and whistling.

And when I get there
if you are there
smiling
Why, I will skip along that old Edge.
Why, I will tra-freakin’-la at the top of my lungs.
I will waltz and
I will teeter and
I will stand on one leg and
I will dare oblivion to come and get me.

Maybe I will fall and fall and fall
forever and a day
Maybe I will, so what
At least I’ll have direction
and the wind in my hair
and the lightest of hearts
and no appointments to bore me
and no one feeling sorry that I fell.
I’ll just keep on free falling.

Why — I’ll make it my profession.
Yes, I’ll become an expert, first-class faller
cutting z-shapes in the air
with my skirt around my ears
twirling downwards at breathtaking speed
so that all the folks sitting on branches
along the side
are too afraid to wave
for fear that they’ll fall, too
and that’d make me giggle all the way
down and
down and
down into eternity.

Or
perhaps
whilst I were standing at the Edge looking
over and out and beyond and through
all the illusions,
I might fly.
But no one has to go on about flying.
Too much has been made of it already.

Yes, I think to fall might be the more exhilarating of the two.
Spirits fly, so there’s plenty of time for that.
Humans fall.
But, ah, to fall forever, masterfully,
in somersaults and swan dives,
no shrieks of terror,
only screams of laughter and
curses of laughter and
sobs of laughter.
Now, that
would be something.

So, call me to the Edge and I will come.
I will show right up.
I may not choose to fall at first, it’s true.
But push me, if you please.
Tell me that you love me
and give me a sweet, light shove
and bid me adieu
and dangle your legs over
and eat a sandwich
and watch me ’til I’m
a
small
happy
dot
in
the blue.