A Walk on the Edge | 2019
From Laurie Brinklow —
Each year, my intrepid students from my “Islandness: Culture, Change and Identity” class take a “walk on the edge,” then document their experience – through words and images – of what it’s like being out on the edge of the Island. And because our class is in the winter semester, the experience isn’t of the usual sun, sand, and sea…
Here are the assignments from our 2019 cohort. Enjoy!
A walk on the edge
Coming from a tropical region in Africa – Ghana to be precise – I have always been used to the Sun. Well, I hate it when the temperature ranges between 25-30 degrees Celsius because it makes me feel uncomfortable by burning my face. Having the opportunity to come study in Canada – PEI to be specific – I actually expected it to be cold but not to the extent of a -13 degree Celsius which is obviously not a favourable temperature for a ‘tropical guy’ like me to complete a class assignment titled, ‘A walk on the Edge.’ Anyway, I always like to try new things, so I ‘filled up my boots.’ Read more
A bit ironic, isn’t it, that the least stable natural elements have always been my anchor! No surprise, then, that my Edge is the moving boundary between ocean and beach. And, for this assignment, I went to my very favourite Edge – Greenwich Beach! I arrived just as the sun was preparing to greet the day and the welcome was stunning. I was dressed well for the very cold and somewhat windy elements and my snowshoes carried me smoothly across the snowy expanse separating my Ford Edge from my anchoring Edge. Read more
I walk on the edge while random thoughts fleet through my head
I walk along the boardwalk, the snow beneath my feet crunches with every step and each breath condensates as I exhale, forming a tiny puff of frozen air. The frigid winter air bites at the only skin that remains exposed to the elements, my face. I pull my hood tighter and focus my eyes on the ground in attempt to shield my face from the wind, several thoughts occur in my mind simultaneously, rising to the surface from somewhere deep below. Read more
Walk on the Edge (Photo essay)
A visit to the edge is not uncommon for me. Having grown up across the road from a provincial beach, which we like to remember as having had to ourselves for ten months of the year, I am no stranger to the flying froth and rock-hard sand drifts that winter brings.
There is something special about a beach in winter. Well. There’s something special about a beach, full stop. But winter… some extra magic is stirred up. Read more
Searching for islandness in the edge
In my ongoing exploration of the concept of islandness and island studies more generally, it has become clear to me that there is no satisfactory definition, criteria, or set of characteristics for what is an island. Part of the problem is the sheer diversity of the world’s islands. How can we tease out commonalities from such a diverse population? And what sets these apart from other remote, small, and peripheral mainland places? Read more
In a life full of change, the ocean has been a constant.
A constant source of healing, of freedom, of home.
A lifetime full of memories,
Of arriving at her doorstep, suitcase full of worries, to- dos and things left unsaid.
I would linger there at her door step,
Walk awhile, sit awhile, look awhile.
Out at her vastness,
From the edge.
Drinking her in.
Edges near & far
I drove to the edge this evening, and I was reluctant to do so. I knew the purpose was to get my colleagues and me thinking about islandness and what does ‘the edge’ mean to those living on or visiting islands, but I knew to go to the edge would only reaffirm what I already knew: this Island is not my home. Steeling myself with purpose, I pulled my car into the curve of Brighton Shore and with my youngest sleeping soundly in the back, I stepped out to the edge. Immediately, my eyes were drawn to the water, rippling dark beneath a skimming of translucent, gray ice. I knew, even in the darkness, that the jagged rocks skirting the shoreline were an Island red. Across the water and on each end of her shore there was the twinkle of lights from homes, businesses and lamp posts. Read more
Walk on the Edge: Water, Ice, and Love
On February 7, 2019, I went to my Aunt Jennifer’s cottage at Augustine Cove, Prince Edward Island, to walk on the shore with her. Although I love the beach, I only ever go in the summer (preferably August, when the winter is warmer than in June or July), but for my school assignment I was to visit the beach in February. It turned out to be a beautifully sunny day, relatively warm for February in Prince Edward Island, and I also enjoyed the warmth of my aunt’s company. Read more
A Walk on the Edge: North River
One of my favorite things to do is to walk around in nature in peace. Today I’ve done the same, drove to a spot about 5 minutes away from my new apartment in the hope of finding inspiration to finish my assignment.
It’s the hardest part of this assignment, spending hours to question myself about who I am. Try to do my best to gather every piece of information through memories to build a frame that includes me and islandness from this island that I’m living. Read more