I find myself living on the verge lately. Which is not unlike living on the edge; radical, dangerous, unpredictable, prone to slipping into the abyss, requiring multiple layers of protective clothing and expensive gear, often resulting in fame and sponsorship. Basically we're talking about modern parenting here, a.k.a. orphans as accessories and the Plus 8 crowd...but I digress.
Back to living on the verge. The verge of what, you ask? The verge of tears. The verge of losing it, my mind, my patience, my self. The verge of screaming. The verge. Period.
The safe thing about the verge is that it is much like the middle bit. From the middle you can see all sides of something. What brought you there and where you'd like to go.
That's the verge. Its that last little bit of space you have to stand on. You're not actually falling/jumping/hurling yourself over the edge but you are precipitously aware of how close you are to all of it. Its another one of those choices, like happiness, where the awareness of how close you are to change makes your position safer, more manageable, more urgent.
Karen (whose blog I follow religiously, and who eloquently expands on this idea more here) says, "Exhalation is the jump. Inhalation is the parachute." The jump. From the verge. Sometimes, as I stand here on the verge, my exhalation bursts out in the form of a scream. Sometimes I exhale with a quiet sigh. Sometimes it feels like there is no air, only tears that come out. But that is the jump. The step from the verge into some other place, if only just for a moment. That moment that you choose to let go for as long as you can stand it before you inhale and release your parachute. Inhale and quiet your voice or catch your breath or wipe your tears. Because that too, is a choice. To let it out but then to reach out, breath in, and save yourself from a hard landing.
About that view...from the verge. Some people live in the city all their lives and only see dirty concrete. They never look up to see the beauty in the static fingers of steel scraping the sky. Some people live on the beach all their lives and see only the damage done by the surge of the tide. They never look up and see the instant that sliver of orange slips like a blink into the deep water. While I'm here on the verge, I will endure dirt and I will see damage. I will fall or be pushed or jump with an exhale from the edge as I go down.
But I will climb right back up to the verge again because the view from up here is amazing.