Erm, because you might fall in?
And frankly, if you’re going to go in, you should probably dive instead of falling, in which case you’re better off starting with a firm footing in the first place.
Of course, I say that despite being someone who has slowly realised that actually, I suit moderation more than I’d think. I definitely don’t react well to actual danger. And I appear to be on some slow elimination process when it comes to all chemicals.
I don’t really drink alcohol and I’m currently steering clear of caffeine. My line manager/shaman is trying to persuade me to give up refined sugar. I’m pretty sure the end of the line for this process is starvation, but I’m hoping we won’t get there.
I mean, technically, I have yet to rule out class A drugs as a source of entertainment. But the fact that I’ll say ‘can I just have a hot water’ when offered tea, probably cancels out any credibility I may have with idiots for that particular rebelliousness.
But where is the edge these days? Where can you fall? Let’s be honest, I’m in a ridiculously secure, entitled bubble right now. Bar the impending collapse of civilisation as we know it (probably not such a bad thing, particularly in terms of biosphere and world equality) it would probably be quite a challenge for me to fall out of the middle class, let alone fall through the cracks entirely.
It’s hard to know though. Maybe that’s just my brain tricking myself into security (or out of anxiety). Maybe we’re all close to the edge.
I think the main reason not to be on the edge is that we don’t really know where the edge is. And most people who play on it, actually only look like they’re on the edge from a safe distance.
Not sure though.
Maybe it’s more exciting over there. Maybe there’s more to life.
I know that I am too afraid of many things. I feel it holding me back. My security blankets (music, friends and actual blankets, for the most part) are constantly wrapped around me. Fear stops me living, I think. Sometimes at least. Fear of going crazy, in particular, but there’s lots to be scared of. Fear of not having all this privilege and luxury for one. That’s a big, pathetic and consuming fear right there.
The problem is, that the edge that you get to, is probably largely going to be the edge of your fear, rather than the edge of the edge. Unless you’re really quite good at seeing through your own mental blocks.
And you won’t be. That’s what makes them yours. That’s how it works.
So the edge isn’t what you think. And it probably is worth staring it in the face every now and then. There are a lot of things worth staring down.
But don’t think of the edge as some exciting foreign land. Remember it’s where some people live.
Illustration by Emma.