I’m still supposed to be finishing off my thesis, and I have done some work on it today (adding footnotes, very important) but my mind has been elsewhere, it has been on the edge.
My obsession with things has turned me to considering edges today. Without edges, we would not have things. I know I often talk about the blending of things, but in reality, there are still edges. Without edges, we would not have the difference between me, it, you, that, this, and the thing. Everything has an edge, even a cloud. Do concepts have edges? I guess that they do. They don’t go on for infinity so they must have edges, surely. Is there an edge to love? There must be, love cannot be found everywhere. And how about a dream? Where is the edge of dream last night?
We may be able to see edges, but they aren’t entities in themselves. I can’t produce an edge. I could try to draw one, but it would be a line, not an edge. That line itself, would have edges around it. So it is impossible to reproduce an edge. And the edge is just the edge, the border, the ‘difference’ between me and it. It isn’t a solid ‘thing’. It’s not even a concept. It is somewhere between the two. The edge is the start of something and the end of something else. It is what joins everything into the big messy blob I talk about.
I cannot exist without my edges, and nor can the thing. Even the internet has an edge, otherwise there would be no difference between this real world I am typing this in and the virtual world my words are appearing in. But where is the edge here? You can rarely touch an edge, even if you can perceive it and ‘see’ it.
The more I think about it, the more I see that there are edges everywhere. All I can see are edges. Suddenly, the things around me as I type this have receded (the chair, my laptop, the enormous tent to my left, the packet of Marks & Spencer’s Extremely Chocolatey milk chocolate orange biscuits, my keys, the table, my diet coke, my fingers, my phone, a leaflet from NatWest, and New Philosopher magazine). All of these things have edges and that is what I am seeing now. Most seem to have straight edges, my fingers being the main exception. And their edges seem to touch, overlap, go behind or in front of other things with edges.
The problem with thinking, is that it takes you to all sorts of places. Now I see that there are also metaphoric edges: the edge of reality, the edge of reason, the edge of sanity and the edge of something new and exciting. An edge seems to stand for a chasm between good and bad, safe and unsafe, or my mind and the rest of the world, thing and no-thing.
We also use edges to mean borders. If I cross over the edge to where you are, I am a visitor. We live within edges, in our own communities, whether we like it or not and whether we believe it should be so or not. I might decide to meet you on the edge of the corner.
To be on edge, is to be tetchy, or on the brink of something fearful. The world ‘ledge’ is close to edge, and to stand on the ledge is to be about to jump.
And now google, my old friend, tells me there is a book all about edges! I might just have to get this. What can a man have to say that might fill a whole book about edges? I need to find out.
I do rather like living life on the edge.