If you've found yourself at the edge, you know there's no glamour there. Actually being at the edge is clinging to the lip of the known and staring in the unknowable. It's realizing that the beliefs, love, possessions, physical stamina and whatever else stabilizes the center no long applies to emerging circumstances; new energies and insights must be accessed. The edge doesn't glorify the ego; that is the work of the center.
The edge is not a vacation choice or a thrilling distraction from the tedium of living. No rational person willingly ventures there. Uncontrollable forces sweep you to edge where everything cherished by the rational mind is challenged. It rips away illusions, yanks the rug from beneath your feet and dissolves apart the world you inhabit. The edge is not the glowing horizon between heaven and earth. It's the faint border crossing between the wasteland and the unknown land.
At the edge, there's no turning back. Behind is the corpse of a life that no longer breathes. Ahead is the fear of annihilation in the abyss. Yet, the opportunity of being at the edge is dying to the known to discover revitalizing energies in the unknowable. To ego, mind and body, the edge is a place of dark nothingness. To the soul, the edge rims the well of life. At the edge hovers the elusive elixir of life. It the time/space moment/place where you encounter the no-thing that cannot be described or explained while it powers the steps of your life journey. The edge is not a dividing line separating hope from fear. It's the mixture of hope and fear that ignites the strange sparks of new creation.
You may be thrown to the edge by divorce, disease or debt. You may find yourself there staring that the blank page or the blank canvas. You may not know how the hell you got there. At the edge, your heart may pound, your knees may shake, your throat may be parched, your eyes may be blinded by tears, you legs may feel unable to take the next step. At the edge you may feel alone and confused. Yet, if you are lucky enough to be opened this far by life, please remember: the edge is a moment of fierce grace; you are at a vital threshold on your life journey; as you passed through birth into this world, you are being birthed into important new dimensions of this world; though its seems like you are losing your life you are in the process of gaining; hang in there.
The truth of the edge is described in an old Zen story: A man, being chased by a tiger, ran to the edge of a cliff. As the tiger bore down on him, the man spotted a vine growing down the side of the precipice and climbed down it. At the bottom of the cliff, another tiger roared and licked his lips. Clinging to the vine, the man saw two mice, one black and one white, gnawing the vine at the point it sprung from the rock face. Two feet to his left grew a single strawberry. The man plucked the red fruit and popped it into his mouth, how sweet and fresh it tasted.