Thursday, March 19, 2015

Edges that Define....

Victoria Boardwalk March 2014


  Walking the Victoria Park boardwalk this week, thinking carefully on what the idea, concept, term, 'Walking the Edge,' means to me. Being in that place, space and time, however, not consciously seeing how sky meets ocean in cloudy light or brilliant sunshine, in hues of blue and gray – afternoon shades, or open water and icy shallows. No, nor, consciously hearing the carrying sound of voices around the curves of the boardwalk, the returning cacophony of crows – an inherent and so far, in my experience, a comforting constant of the park and of Charlottetown. Not consciously seeing but at the same time, intimately aware of the smell of the sea, the taste of salt on my tongue, gray puffs of breath trailing behind me as I walk; the sound of water, a sound that both awakens and lulls – being both fully present in the moment and absent in thought. What does the 'Edge,' in the sense of being physically 'island-bounded,' mean to me?
  Island-bounded, small island-bounded with the awareness of sea, the intuitive knowledge – a constant 'knowing' of where land meets water, in any and every direction. The nose leads me to water so I may ground my bearings and re-establish my directionality. My nose leads me to the 'Edge' of where land meets ocean or sea.

That is only one edge – the line between ground and water.

  I have visited many 'Edges' over the years. Fine lines and demarcations between here and there; safety and insecurity; the cusp between sanity and loss of sanity (or at least very compromised sanity), and the ultimate physical and psychological balancing acts: between being overtly blasé about death, and actively choosing between life, and death.
We use the term 'edge' in so many different contexts with different meanings, like both the metaphorical and literal meaning of the edge of a knife and is more often than not, fraught with dangerous, negative, or titillating connotations: the edge of your seat, the edge of the city, the edge of your nerves, the edge betwixt good, and bad.... When it comes to island-bound, encircled, embraced, enveloped, engulfed or edged by water --I do not identify with some of the negative connotations that can be associated with the word.
  All of my life, except for a year and a half in central Alberta, I have been physically limited by a boarder of water, or island-bounded – in the real sense of surrounded by water. But that point, that moment between land and sea, between ground and water has never felt like say, the edge of a knife: sharp, painful; exacting the need for caution or restraint. No, that point, that delineation, that 'Edge,' between land and sea; between solid and liquid; stable and constantly shifting; has only ever felt like safety, liberation and endless possibility. It is the surround of land in every direction, that makes me feel caged, claustrophobic, and hemmed in.

Looking out from the edge of a beach at the oval horizon, where blue meets blue; where shifting sky meets shifting waters, I feel, I am free. 
Jan. 25, 2015

Some of the places and spaces bounded by water that have shaped me

Vancouver Island
Abraham Lake, Kootney Plains, Central Alberta. Even landlocked I need to find a body of water that speaks to me.

Ibiza, Spain
Dallas Road Beach, 1983 Jessika, Victoria BC
Granddaughters Sela and Ila, playing on the Edge, 2011 Chrystal Crescent Beach, Halifax

Prince Edward Island

Las Salinas, Ibiza Spain - The beach the defines me. My mental "Happy Place."

Willows Beach, Victoria BC - Spent my 20s and my daughter's childhood at this beach

This piece of music by one, if not The, greatest classical guitarist of the 20th Century, Paco de Lucia 'Entre dos Aguas,' - 'Between two Waters,' seemed like a good choice for this post.