A Walk on the Edge | 2022

Each year, Dr. Laurie Brinklow’s intrepid students from her 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 the 2022 cohort. Enjoy!

Tristan Atkins: A Walk On the Edge

As a child, I spent much of my time on the edge of our island, building castles on the sand bars; as the tide went out, so did the edge, giving me more area to explore, & more places to play.  But even then I knew that eventually, the tide would return, and all this space that I’ve gained will be taken back by the ocean.  As I grew older, I found new ways to explore the edge and go even further; I decided that if the high tide will eventually take away my sandy playground, that I would find a way to make the ocean itself my playground. Continue reading…

Caitlin Audas: Into the Unknown, an Ode to a Frozen Coastline

That sense of absolute aloneness strikes up a sense of unease in the pit of my
stomach. It’s that same feeling you get as a child when you know you’re doing
something you shouldn’t be doing. I felt like I was somewhere I shouldn’t be, intruding on some silence that wasn’t mine to be intruding on.
Sand dunes covered in snow. I know what lives in the contained lakes of Ontario and what lurks in the forests. It is the unknown and the uncertainty of the ocean and the edge that gives me pause. It is this vast, open, frigid, unfamiliar ocean off the northern side of this equally unknown (to me at least) island that stalls me and causes me to contemplate. Continue reading…

Wendy Collett: My Edge is the Intersection of Change

My initial observations reveal summer beach craft items are more plentiful in the winter. As I walk towards the Confederation Bridge, the abundance of driftwood along the beach provides unique sculptures and works of art. Perhaps one of these would look great in my flower bed. A question I ask myself every time I visit the shore. Today’s driftwood looks like old trees. I wonder where they come from, how old they are, and where they have travelled on their journey to get here. Where will they end up? Are they going to be used as fuel for a summer clambake or lobster boil on the beach? Or will they end up part of an Island landscape? The shore is not the beginning for this driftwood, nor is it the end. It is part of their journey, a stopping point along the way. Continue reading…

Zac Elsinga: Walk on the Edge

To islands, the water and the shore are the most important, defining features. The landmass of islands relies on these things to exist, and those who live on these islands have much of the same relationship with the water and shore. Historically, many islands used the water around them for both protection and sustenance; in modern times, islands have shifted toward the shore as their principal means of survival. Islands and the beaches have become tourist havens, tourism money has primarily replaced the fisheries, and many once-isolated islands have become globally connected due to tourist desire for the beaches and the waters surrounding them. To the islander, the shore is now both a place of leisure and industry. Read more…

Kelly Rivera: A Walk on the Edge

Covered in snow, look inside the mixture of sand and foam. 
You’ll find your deepest thoughts and secrets, unraveled by the cold. 
While it arises from head to toe. 
I can’t help myself and keep comparing both shores, 
my one true love, the one I left. 
Chasing a dream some already chased before.
Read more…

Helena M. Ryan: A Walk on the Edge: Prince Edward Island

[Spoken Word Poem]
Do I dare? 
Do I dare? 
Do I dare take a walk on the edge? 
Do I step into that liminal space along the shoreline? 
The gravitational sea of waves conjure memory moving through space and time. 
It is then I discover, I become ever more, not ever less. 
Watch here…

Fiona Steele: A Walk on the Edge

A short film for UPEI’s IST 6140 – Islandness: Culture, Identity class.

Watch here…

Richard Wedge: A Walk on the Edge

The sea draws us. For people who live on small islands, especially narrow small islands, the sea is never far away and often on our minds. Many people who live in small island communities have an occupational attachment to the water and, amongst many others, a recreational passion. However, no matter one’s viewpoint, all Islanders must pass over the water to travel to or from an island. Continue reading…