Contemplating Edges


Carrot Ranch January 25, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes to the edge. Consider what the edge might be and how it informs the story. Go where the prompt leads. Respond by January 30, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published January 31). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


Such a potent prompt, it initially led me to ponder the shape of an edge, mathematically a linear preponderance, a two-dimensional aspect of a three-dimensional figure. So much more potential in the literary sphere, where even edges can be rounded and fluid, malleable in the imaginings and interpretations of the writer. Edge becomes a potent word, rich with connotation and implication. Isn’t it a natural thing to step in some manner towards an edge, maybe boldly, maybe foolishly, maybe cautiously but always irresistibly? Haven’t we all written more than once about edges, edges as places, places both physical and of the spirit; about boundaries and precipices and dangerous lines in the sand? Where oh where will this prompt lead, what shape will the edge take, how will I define it? So many potential stories, I look forward to reading the interpretations of others at Carrot Ranch. For my own 99 word contribution I present a sort of stream of consciousness musing on our (yep, geo- and geneo- centric) history, the oft times romanticized tales of westward expansion, which has been one edge after another, beginning with the disproving of the fabled edge of a two dimensional earth ending somewhere in the western reaches of the Atlantic.


Seeking Earth’s edges, pressing on, thrusting ahead, seeking new frontiers, always further on.


Westward expansion told as a flexible line; looping progression across the map page, across the ages, across the ever-changing landscape. Edges reached, breached and surpassed. Shoreline, rivers, mountain ranges, seas of grass, mountain ranges, deserts, rivers, shoreline; compressed, flattened, documented.

Whose country tis of thee?

Edges of encounter; that line of expansion entangling, ensnaring, diminishing, destroying; slicing the multifaceted beauty of each encountered edge, razing cultures, razing ecosystems.

If only edges were navigated as holy spaces of contemplation, opportunities for true expansion, precipitant of Potential.



For more edges, see: Disbelief and Mirrored.

22 thoughts on “Contemplating Edges

  1. We’ll have to seek new edges once we’ve covered all of these on this blue ball.
    The balance of the scales never seems to be justified. We can only hope for ‘holy’ restoration?
    Beliefs, those seems to be as taunt and drawn as the cutting edge of thin paper.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Love it. ‘Edges reached, breached, surpassed’, is one of those perfect lines you read and think, wow.
    And the journey of colonialism, so ‘unpreachy’ and thus rendered more powerful. Poignant.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your post is very timely for us here in Australia as some have celebrated the arrival of the first fleet of colonisers in Australia Day, and others have mourned their losses from Invasion Day.
    Those edges really are: “Edges of encounter; that line of expansion entangling, ensnaring, diminishing, destroying; slicing the multifaceted beauty of each encountered edge, razing cultures, razing ecosystems.” and, I agree should be “navigated as holy spaces of contemplation, opportunities for true expansion, precipitant of Potential.” Lovely post.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yeah. Imagine if encountering groups slowed down and took it all in, what they might learn from one another and what they might best reject from the other. Our Pilgrims (see Norah’s comment) took on some aspects of the native culture in the beginning. They had to to survive. But sustainability wasn’t what they had trained for, so as soon as they got situated and re-supplied, they transplanted their agricultural and economic practices. It was that unsustainability that drove the westward movements; use it up, move on. (Recommended: Nat Philbrick’s Mayflower; Cronon’s Changes in the Land)
    Thanks for coming by and glad you liked my response.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If only your words were true we wouldn’t have destroyed the native populations of this country as we expanded the edge. 😦 Whose country? Not ours, but I guess it is now… I don’t know if you want to edit this or not but the words “mountain ranges” are used twice in the third paragraph.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This one knocks my socks off, giving the edges the dimensions we need to understand them better. Even in one place — Rock Creek, Nebraska for example — there exist all these edges of pre-Civil War N vs S, roles of men vs women, and already in 1858, the blurred lines of reservations and continued buffalo hunts sponsored by the US government. And all that happens at the edge of the “great frontier” beyond the Mississippi. These edges become a spider’s web or dream catcher. One we are all caught up in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, it’s a powerful prompt all right and as I said above, one we have all explored in many ways in many writings. And history is as you say, so many edges. The right glue I suppose would make of all those sharp and cutting edges a mosaic.
    Thanks for giving me range to lope away from the linear and into the literary interpretations of this multifaceted word. Mathively grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: On the Edge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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