How many times have I been close to going over The Edge?
You know, the edge of doing something that leaves an indelible mark on your destiny, your legacy, your reputation.
The Edge that is that figurative and yet undeniable line in the sand. The Edge that we're forced to jump over by nasty, demented emotions and conclusions so frightening they'll suck the breath out of rational thought.
I'm at a loss for words when trying to describe the heartbreaking events at Virginia Tech. Massacre, tragedy and crisis are all nebulous definitions that really fail to strike at the heart of what happened.
Shining stars snatched away from settling into their bright destiny.
I was in college when Columbine happened. As the days passed, we learned Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were a pair of kids trapped in the trouble that comes with the teenage years. They were the kids everyone else made fun of, and so on their Day of Reckoning they believed flying bullets and molded metal would be their great equalizer.
I wrote a column for UK's paper back then about how I could identify with Klebold and Harris. I faced my own schoolyard challenges as a teen and often times found myself struggling with depression and isolationism.
Lucky for me I had a good support system and an excellent sense of self.
I've since weathered a few other obstacles that forced me to examine my heart of hearts, the philosophies ingrained in my spirit.
So far, so good.
We're all little, fragile shells walking around this stunning Earth, trying to protect our vulnerability. Trying to cope with life's wicked deck of cards.
Heart beats away from the most trying of consequences. A breath away from the Edge.
I pray God keeps me on the right side of the line.