¨I want to stand as close as I can to the edge without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.¨ -Kurt Vonnegut
Beyond the domain of who we think we are there is an edge; and here, we see the full glory of the self shed of all her trappings.
My edge has not been a vantage point from which I gazed into the depths of raw, limitless potential inside of me, but a jumping-off point from which I lept to escape the pressure of tapping into it. I escaped, taking refuge in seclusion. I allowed my spirit to rot in idle stagnation and championed it as contemplation; I toted the identity of a rishi finding God in a cave when I was really a recluse willing my spirit to die. I sacrificed the risks of joyous leaps of faith to calculated efforts yielding safe results.
Or as Christian author C.S. Lewis writes, I chose Hell:
¨There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell (The Problem of Pain, 121).¨
The last few months I have locked my heart into this casket and cast my desires away.
I lived in isolation because I didn’t trust anyone else to tend to my wounds. I clung to resentment and fear because it was safer than choosing to let go, trust, and have a new experience. I forwent opportunities to expand my knowledge and develop my skills because the outcome was unidentifiable.
Bondage was predictable; freedom required risk.
Recently I have been catapulted out of my cocoon and forced to fly. The illusion of security has been smashed and I am inviting the creative principle inside me to awaken.
¨Who am I if I don’t look good on paper?”
¨What can I rely on if the one thing I’ve been banking on for two years has escaped my grasp?¨
have left me raw, angry, and hurting. I was faced with a tough decision and I chose freedom and empowerment over security. I stopped participating in a movement that held me hostage to the center so I could look out over the edge.
And now, here I stand, howling out into the great void. Here I find my footing without a Plan B or a safety net. I feel but two things; the aching cry of a rebirth and the grief of tearing myself from the center.
Here I offer my wounds to their only rightful attendant, my Maker, as I try to stand by the edge without falling off.