Friday, 7.16.04: Finding the edge
I take a yoga class 2 or 3 times a week. The instructor always tells us to "find our edge." Don't push yourself into pain, but find that place between ease and discomfort. Holding your pose there will make you improve over time. But don't forget to breath.
I had dinner with Ann last night. Our conversation meandered into many areas, but it left me with this question. How do we live successfully on the edge? And what do we really mean by that?
When someone refers to a person who is "edgy," it used to mean that their nerves were a-jangle. "I feel really edgy today" meant "better stay away unless you want to watch me to blow a gasket." Now an edgy person tends to mean someone with the hint of a dark side -- or at least something very complex going on below the surface. Dangerous. (Think Harvey Keitel or Christopher Walken -- not Tom Cruise.)
But finding your own edge... living on your edge -- maybe it doesn't make you a darkly romantic anti-hero but it is dangerous. It makes you change. It gives you surprises.
We talked about the thoughts that bubble up while you are running (her) or walking (me) or when you find that quiet space to do some real writing. Are these interesting, challenging, creative thoughts really coming from inside you or are they being downloaded from the common vault (like maybe you're just tapping into an interesting talk show riding the radio waves)? Dangerous territory -- no wonder we try to modulate it with too much TV and other distractions.
I suppose this is what praying or meditating does. If you work at it, if you find that space just before it becomes unbearable, you open yourself up to the wisdom of the universe. Cool thought. Oops, time to go get another cup of coffee and check the days headlines... [zoom]