I am an edgewalker. I am some strange amphibian in a world of lakes and raised dikes. I cross from one body of water to another, swimming on the surface, perhaps porpoising down, though never to the bottom. The bottom is deeper than I am willing to go. I wander always, restless to see more. Each lake is new; the thickness of the water, it’s consistency, it’s chill or sun-warmth. I am a connoisseur of water, I taste it in my skin, filter out oxygen through my gills, feel the varied press of it between my webbed toes as I swim.
I move knowledge from one lake to the next. It is a function of moving, at the core of my being; I always will move knowledge. It flows in and out of me, seeking some kind of equal osmotic pressure. In new lakes it rushes in, in old lakes it leaks out. In every lake there is something that can eat me, in every lake there is a small garden I can tend and eat from. I tend, for a while. Then I move on.
I haul myself out of one lake. Its inhabitants marvel at my ability to live outside of the water. I know I am merely crawling where others can run. I cross to another, to a new realm with a new king and new laws. The pattern remains. In crossing from one to another I carry with me some of the old and the sparkle of the new. In some lakes I am king for a while. In some lakes I can barely swim, the water is too slippery to support me and I thrash to live, gaining the shore and gasping for a while. Perhaps I wade in the shallows there for a while, peering into the deep.
Occasionally I fly, in my dreams. I see all the lakes stretching to the horizon; there is no end to them, no end to the new. The pattern repeats over and over, always slightly different, always the same enough that I am home in any lake, and none.
In some lakes they fight each other. In every lake, they fight each other, struggling to see who is the best, who has the best ideas, the best way. They fight, and win, and die, all for the same lake.
Some are like me. I meet them on the high ground. We cross paths like bears in a wood; I see them, they see me. Perhaps we stop and smell for a while, sensing the travels and travails and victories of the other. Then we move on, for bears do not run in packs, and only seldom gather to dance in a great circle under the moon, silent in ecstasy that none other know.
I wish, maybe, to live in just one lake, to know the cast of the bottom as a child’s basin and every plant and grain of gravel and ancient gurgling of history in it, so that no mysteries remain. Then mystery calls me again, and I move to the next. I am an edgewalker.