Recently, I visited New York, my first trip outside of the country after a long pandemic lockdown. While there, a friend and I went to its latest attraction, The Edge. We went up the elevator to the 100th Floor, and when we got out, a 360 view of the whole city greeted us. There’s a platform outside that makes you feel you’re indeed on edge.
It was quite an experience. At first, excitement gripped me as the elevator brought us up. I wondered what it would be like to be on the 100th Floor of a building. My breath quickened as we reached the top, and I couldn’t stop my heart racing expecting something spectacular.
I was not disappointed. My eyes riveted to the view that was unfolding in front of me. It draws me to move on and experience what it was to be right there on that promontory extending outside the perimeters of the building. Fear and excitement interspersed. It’s like falling in love for the first time, and one is drawn to the person but is also hesitant to get closer, not yet knowing who this man or woman is.
I walked towards the edge with hesitant steps. Every step is a decision to test the limits of my fear. The presence of so many people gave me courage. It was an assurance of safety. Safety in numbers, as they say.
Slowly, we walked around and quickly became quite comfortable looking out at the city spread under our gaze. My hesitant steps became hurried with excitement that we even went to the bar to buy a glass of champagne to commemorate our being there at The Edge.
Afterward, my thoughts focused on the experience of what it is to be on edge. Often, we fear even going near it. We seek safety, comfort, and stability. I thought of children, especially those who have newly learned to walk. They keep going to where something promises excitement, something attractive and of interest. They’ll move towards anything that catches their fancy with no sense of danger along the way.
We, adults, have long lost that pursue of anything that has caught our attention. We would think of all the possible risks and obstacles that we end up not doing at all.
Fear often engulfs us to go closer to the edge, so we hold off and stay where we are even though nothing in this place excites us. Life continues to be a bore but safe.
To be perched on the edge, we can see more. We can see clearly, but we hesitate to go there. Instead, we satisfy ourselves with seeing only a part of reality but feeling stable. As we grow, we aim for stability that often, we only see a tiny portion of reality. We satisfy ourselves with this narrow view, and we defend this audaciously when attacked. We have learned all kinds of defenses to make it more stable.
Is this how we want to live our lives? Or do we want to be more on edge?
The edge is the limit we have set ourselves, which we do all the time. I run away when I’ve reached my limit. I don’t understand why but I do it. So, I’m meditating on this to find out why I have been doing this all my life. This running away is serious as it has affected so many of my significant decisions. Is it because I lack the courage to face whatever it is that baffles me? I don’t know. I will share when it gets more evident to me.