From the French translated as “call of the void”. It is the sensation of, when presented with an open expanse where one could fall, the urge to jump over the edge.
I have experienced this sensation my whole life whenever I’ve stood near a ledge that is even just one or two feet up. Whether there was a railing or not, it didn’t matter what was on the other side, there has always been this nagging necessity to…be there. It has nothing to do with suicidal tendencies, a fear of heights, or any relation to how far the drop was. I simply felt a need to jump.
Because this is a constant presence in my psyche, it has always filled me with concern. On occasion I do give in and make the leap, but fortunately my innate sense of self preservation has kept me from doing anything fatal. Again, I say it’s not due to suicidal tendencies. I’ve discussed this with people before, and that has always been the conclusion they drew. Paradoxically, I dislike the sensation of falling, which is why I avoid roller coasters, but jumping in elevators can be a treat.
Until recently, I thought this was unique to me. Then I found out some poet set a name to it. After some research, it actually seems to be rather common. But how does that make sense? Granted it could account for a percentage of suicides, but why would something like this manifest in the architecture of the human brain? Maybe there had been a meeting on what we would evolve into, but the bird delegation ended up in the minority.