Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Edge of the Abyss

I live on the edge of the abyss. That place our mind fears for failing into and not coming back, or at best, sitting in the darkness and silence at the bottom looking for hope and light knowing it's not there nor coming any time soon. But more than that, I'm addicted to living on the edge. It was a gift. Not something that happened, but something given.

You see I was born with genetic Dysthymia. My father had it and my Mom was prone to short periods of depression. And they passed it on as the baseline of my life. It's always there, just underneath the exterior, a vast interior of my mind, sitting on the edge, of the abyss.

I reckon my abyss is not unlike the Grand Canyon. And I sit on the edge of the north rim, the south rim far across, lower and extending south onto the vast plain and the world beyond. The river deep below flowing like emotions and thoughts traversing my mind into the deep and deeper recess of experience to reveal the sorrow lying within alongside the self-hate.

The simple reality of my being. Long determined before birth and evolving through a life, just as the blood flows through me, the feelings rage through my mind. Sometimes torrents. Sometimes calm. The definitive history of a depressed life. And the constant struggle to stay alive and sane.

And in that is the chance and often experience of seeing and being on the other side. The south side of the rim feeling the light and warmth in the view of the abyss and far side. Feeling the flood of life at the last moment of it, to return to the living, still alive, but not renewed, just older. And maybe a little wiser.

As the sun brings our shadows, life and death shadows my existence. Never far apart and never far from my consciousness. Visible in everything I see, read, hear, touch, taste and smell. The whole of my experience flavored with the duality of both and each. Always wondering and always wanderiing around every facet. Waiting for periods of calm when just feeling alive is enough for the moment.

Sitting in a cafe, table for two against the window, with the opposing vacent chair, I imagine the whole world, just for the brief moment, everything in motion, doing what it's doing then and wherever everything else is happening. And wonder if my existence is anything more than just that, and like everything else happening, just is and just happens. And the next moment, and the one after that.

It's the view from the edge of the abyss.