Saturday, November 24, 2007

On the brink of…

These last few days, or perhaps I should say weeks or even months, some conversations around me have revolved around how we are ‘on the brink of war’. Others, though fewer, will argue that we are ‘on the brink of a new start’, with a new presidency, that is. Yet others, more balanced in their optimism-pessimism, will state that we are merely ‘on the brink of new negotiations’.

In the meantime, we feel, in turns, that we are on the brink of insanity…
You see, being on the brink of anything implies that you are somehow currently suspended at a pivotal point. The image that always comes to my mind is of a physical ‘brink’; you’ve already hiked your way up a particular path, somewhat long and winding, too far to turn back, and you find yourself at some sort of cliff. You can only see what lies at the other end if you walk a little closer and look over the edge, but taking those few steps usually means you’ve made your decision to keep going.

We, as a people, though clearly on the brink of something, seem paralysed in our spot, hesitating to approach that ‘cliff’. And I would argue that remaining at that spot, with all the continuous decision analysis that it entails (Do we approach? Do we deal with the losses and walk back? Are there other points/cliffs we should walk towards?) will eventually make us – you guessed it – insane.

So while we sit here, on the brink of one thing or another, I contemplate the types of brinks we could be at instead: on the brink of greatness, on the brink of revolutionary change … heck, I’d settle for on the brink of utter boredom right now. It may be folly, but I’m sick of being in limbo, and my foot’s making that move towards these brinks – want to join?

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