Life At The Margins

Life only exists at the margins; we go to the centre to die inside.

Yesterday, I had a thought. At the time I thought it was just another one of those fleeting thoughts, a small inspired notion, a flash that would burn away quickly and die. Gone forever. It’s a daily occurrence.

But yesterday, when the thought had lodged itself deep in the recesses of my brain I had the urge to write it down on a Post It note. I have around fifty of these notes stuck to various surfaces on my desk. Some flat on the desktop and some in front of me stuck to the monitor. yesterday’s note is front and centre on the monitor.

I’ve been held at gunpoint. I’ve had several motorbikes (the last one could do 200+ mph). I’ve flown a plane. I’ve been at the helm of a Volvo racing yacht in a force 9 gale and I’ve driven a single-seater racing car. I have known life at the edges and what it feels like to be grateful for being alive.

It was at the extremes where I felt the most single minded. I felt focused on the moment. I felt calm and peaceful when all around me wanted me dead if I failed. I was alive on the edge of life and living on the edge of reasonableness.

George Bernard Shaw once said that ALL change must come through unreasonableness (The Reasonable Man) and this change happens within. If we spend our lives being reasonable and living life at the safe soft centre, then we will never change, we will never grow, we will never experience the state of otherness.

“So these instructions were carried out. Two cows were hitched to the cart, and their newborn calves were shut up in a pen. Then the Ark of the Lord and the chest containing the gold rats and gold tumours were placed on the cart. And sure enough, without veering off in other directions, the cows went straight along the road toward Beth-shemesh, lowing as they went.”

I grew up on a farm and anyone that knows cows knows not to get between a mother and her newborn calf…in this story, the cows responded to a calling far greater than from their own newborn calves. They were at the limit of their instinct. They went beyond their own understanding. They pushed beyond their fear and insecurity to fulfil their destiny.

It’s up to you. Choose a life being either reasonable or unreasonable. Choose to live on the edge or exist at the centre. Both are ok…both are a choice.

Life only exists at the margins; we go to the centre to die inside.

It’s just a thought.

Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash