Life Along the Edge
D. L. Bledsoe
The Mogollon Rim curves roughly 200 miles east to west across central Arizona separating the Ponderosa pines of the Mogollon Plateau from the pinon and juniper studded ridges below. The escarpment is 2,000’ high in some places and my favorite place in the world. I like to sit on the edge of the Rim (as the locals refer to it) and look to the south across the Mazatzals, Four Peaks, and the towns of Payson, Pine, and Strawberry; drinking a beer and contemplating life. I am both important and insignificant, a tiny dot on the landscape, an interloper in someone else’s territory, yet I feel I belong. I am home.
Along the edge of the Rim in July, a monsoon storm may freshen the breeze, thunder echoing across the narrow canyons that cut across the plateau; the storms carrying water into creeks with names like Clear, Fossil, and Christopher and eventually into rivers such as the Verde and the Salt. In the Sonoran Desert 100 miles to the south and 5,500’ lower in elevation, the temperature may be 105. On the Rim, rain has cooled the air to the 50’s, as the last lingering drops fall from the pines. I trade beer for coffee.
I seem to spend much of my life along the edge of something, precariously balancing not to fall off one side or the other. I’m somewhat socially awkward, an introvert that has learned to appear extroverted, sometimes exhausting myself in the process. Faith and doubt, pleasure and pain, joy and sadness, humor and tragedy all mix and mingle in my mind; sometimes with voices rising to be heard such that the cacophony blends into white noise littered with red Solo cups and punctuated by the occasional lucid thought.
In my writing I attempt to separate the voices; mostly unsuccessfully. Humor blends into faith. Faith merges with satire. I push the envelope sometimes and as I am still living and breathing, I reserve the right to change my mind.
While there is a current of Faith running through many of these essays, this is not intended to be a Christian blog, per se. I frankly don’t want the responsibility. I speak for no one but myself.
One of the greatest things about the 21st century is that even paste eating morons like me can bang out a few paragraphs on a laptop or smart phone and put it on the internet; proof that you don’t have to be rich to need rehab. The essays here were written beginning in 2010. I started writing as something of therapy; a way to make sense thoughts and feelings. Like anything else, some are better than others. I continue to write now and again and will add to this blog as I am moved.
My essays have been known to follow a rabbit hole leading to places my mind never intended to go. I don’t think my high school writing teacher, Mrs. Lindauere, would approve of this method, but she can have her own blog and write whatever and however the hell she wants. Actually, she was a delight as a teacher and I remain friends on Facebook with several of her offspring. Maybe even all of them, I don’t really know for sure. I am quite certain I was a pain in the ass as a student. I had no filter then and, from reading this, you will see I have none now. I have merely refined my PITA abilities somewhat, although I still don’t know how to properly use commas and semi colons.
The subject matter of these essays varies and while none are intentionally shocking, some are indelicate. Call them PG-13. I might embarrass my kids, but I am in my 50s now, so it’s my turn.
I write never knowing who, if anyone, will ever read my work. Several friends with whom I have occasionally shared my essays have encouraged me to start this blog. A couple suggested I write a book, a decidedly bad idea given that I am undisciplined and probably have ADD. I acquiesced on the blog. I still don’t really know why, probably arrogance, thinking someone might think my ideas and humor sufficiently interesting to check back now and then to see if I have any new ones. Ah, therein lays the rub. There really is nothing new under the sun. I don’t claim any new ground here, no new revolutionary ideas. At best, my writing is a fusion of others’ ideas. Like Chinese-Mexican food, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.
I do hope you will enjoy it, however. Maybe it’ll make you laugh. Maybe it’ll touch you somewhere. Maybe these lines will inspire you to think, to see, to feel, to love differently. Most importantly, maybe you’ll see that you don’t have to be uber-religious to have a genuine faith, lived imperfectly, along the edge.
 From the Latin meaning, “whatever”