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daily fieldnotes » Blog's archive » Finding an Edge
 
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Finding an Edge 3

Hi there! I’m back. I’ve missed showing up here these past couple weeks. Have been taking fewer pictures. And the internal editor of my writing has gotten more and more ferocious until I couldn’t get a word past her into this space. It’s just piled up in my folders of writing that no one else reads. But thanks to Christina’s encouragement, and finding escape and connection in others’ blogs yesterday, I am back. Moving again.

My favorite yoga teacher often tells us, as we stand holding a pose, arms extended, balanced on one foot, ‘find your edge’, encouraging us to breath deep into the limit of what we think we can do, and to play with that edge. Feel the discomfort of being at the limit of comfort, and going a little further. Fiery muscles, deep breaths, balance. Playing with the edge of what my body can do.

Blogging is a creative edge for me too. Showing up to put down feelings, playing along the borders of what I have words for. I have this comfortable idea of how polished I like to be when I show others my work. And then I have the need to put things down no matter what, because writing is the only way I know how to make sense of the emotional edges of infertility and writing a dissertation that set the tempo of my life right now.

So I am here. Recommitted to playing with my blogging edge, taking the risk of continuing to write even when the feelings are dark and uncertain. Moving forward. Feeling the burn of embarrassment as my legs shake or I lose balance, and breathing words into the experience.

What are the edges in your life right now? What helps you play with the limit of what you think you can do?

3 comments

  1. Larry

    03/11/2011 at 11:20 am

    “Finding our edges” is hard enough in our private worlds – to be witnessed in that process can be even scarier. But it’s good work, good practice, to be in a community of people finding their edge, to learn to be compassionate for others (and ourselves) and to trust in the compassion and support of others.

    So I will answer your question, as much as I feel that “gulp!” of fear in approaching it. I find myself thinking of “moderate” edges and avoiding the ones that are truly hard to share (for now).

    I’m struggling with the pervasive dread that my work does not matter to the world at large. When I embarked on this career, I made peace with the idea that a “life of the mind” was a privilege – in return for satisfying my intellectual curiosity I would be teaching students and in some small way making a difference for them. If I were really lucky and skillful, my research could also make a difference for the world at large.

    Nowadays, as a full-time researcher, I have no students to impact, no immediate feedback that what I do matters to somebody. I’ve also lost control of a lot of my own agenda, the questions that drive me – the folks who provide the $$$ to support my/our work have a different (and largely much shallower) agenda.

    So my “edge” is pushing to reclaim my passion and interest, to reach out and claim “this matters!” and to marshal the resources I need to pursue that work. As to what helps – sharing this is a first step. I have colleagues who get it and are supportive. Beyond that, I’m still learning.

    Thanks again for your own sharing and for asking provocative questions.

     
  2. cynthia newberry martin

    03/14/2011 at 8:48 am

    Cherry, this is a beautiful post. I love the idea of finding our edges. And your last paragraph:

    So I am here. Recommitted to playing with my blogging edge, taking the risk of continuing to write even when the feelings are dark and uncertain. Moving forward. Feeling the burn of embarrassment as my legs shake or I lose balance, and breathing words into the experience.

    Your post is the second place recently I’ve read about pushing a little past where you would normally stop. The universe works in mysterious ways…

     
  3. Cherry

    03/15/2011 at 11:12 am

    Larry – I hear you in a huge and important way with the research. This is something I’ve struggled with a lot too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Cynthia – glad you stopped by!

     

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