Living on the Edge

Some of my happiest times during the past few years have been when I have been standing on the edge of places.

On the edge of a canyon:

Black Canyon of the Gunnison -- north rim

On the edge of a lighthouse:


On the edge of a pier:

Ventura Pier

On the edge of the continent:

Atlantic Ocean

On the edge of a day:

Ocean Sunrise

I’m not sure why edges have such appeal for me. Perhaps it’s because when I am on an edge, I can see a long way, catching glimpses of possibilities far in advance of their appearance. Or perhaps it’s because edges create a boundary between two very different areas — land and sea; balcony and air, cliffs and gorges, night and day — and such differences mirror my own internal boundaries. Or perhaps it’s more symbolic, a precursor to the time when I will be standing on the edge of life, looking out onto . . . who knows what.

Some people “collect” lighthouses, going from one to another, taking pictures, maybe even getting stamps in a lighthouse passport. I considered making such a trek someday, but what I’d really like to do is visit edges of places.

Maybe that’s where I’ll finally find happiness: living on the edge.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

11 Responses to “Living on the Edge”

  1. karmami Says:

    When I was a child the first time I saw the ocean I though that it ended at the edge of the sky. ..I wondered if I could someday be there to see what it was like to see what I perceived as perhaps the end …and wondered if it was really something on the other side…I was so intrigued ….

  2. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    The edges you have described and you have photos here of are at the end of something, say land, and the beginning of something else, say, the ocean. I can’t say why these things fascinate you other than the great view. For myself I like the idea that the end of something can and indeed is the beginning of something else.

    Even the entrance to a canyon satisfies this notion. You go from one type of ground, type of soil to something else. The soil before the canyon is relatively new. The rocks and soil of the canyon, however, can be very old. I know that in the Grand Canyon fantastic finds have been made in terms of fossils. In a sense, and if you know what to look for, you can literally step back in time. Pick the right canyon and you can, not only see a long distance, but also peak into a bygone age with its bygone creatures. My thoughts at any rate.

  3. Kathy Says:

    Very interesting… something to think about. But it made me think of a country song from the1990s called “Sitting on the Edge of Good-bye.” Clever lyrics, which always works for me.

  4. 1writeplace Says:

    Great post, Pat. Makes me ponder… Love the pics.

  5. rami ungar the writer Says:

    If you ask me, I think those are just some very relaxing scenes to go visit.

  6. leesis Says:

    edges make me think of leaping into new possiblilities…and thats exciting

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