Sunday, April 28, 2002

There is a fraternity of us, the abyss walkers....
from Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons

There is a fraternity of us, the abyss walkers. In our eyes, the world is divided by it, made up of those who walk frail, careening rope bridges over the abysses and those who do not. We know each other. I do not think it is a concsious thing with us, this knowing, at least not most of the time, or we would flee from each other as from montsers. It is an animal thing. It is only on that wild old neck-prickling level that we meet. It is only in our eyes that we acknowledge that our twin exhalations have touched and mingled. Sometimes, though not often, one of the others, the non-abyss people, will know us too. You may even know the feeling yourself; you may have met someone about whom otherness clings like miasma; you can feel it on your skin though you can't name it. When that happens, you have me one of us. You may even be one of us, down deep and in secret. The other half of the world, the solid, golden half, the non-abyssers...they feel nothing under their feet but solidity. They inherit the earth. We inherit the wind.

Anne Siddons is someone I read during those lazy summer days when I don't want to think too hard; I just want to be entertained. But the above quote is something that must have caught in my thoughts one summer because I found it typed up and lost among my many drafts of many poems. I like the notion of "abyss-walkers." It kind of goes along with my view of myself as a "rim-walker" -- definitely NOT one of the "solid golden half."