My heart races moments before the jump. Looking over the edge into a pit of endless blue, it seems as though the world is in agreement: you can’t do this. Yet, I return every time. I come back because this cliff is my favourite place. This cliff is where the world ends.
Just beyond the edge of the rocks, twenty-five feet below, is where the world tumbles and falls. War, poverty, and inequality all plunge into its depths. It is so deep that you can no longer hear the cries of women as their children are gunned down in acts of senseless violence, or the sounds of bombs detonating. Blood and tears mix in seamlessly, the blue of the water hiding any traces of colour.
Moments before the leap, I do nothing but breathe. On top of this cliff, where the world tumbles off and ends, I am alone. There is only me, focusing on the motion of my lungs expanding, contracting, of the oxygen fueling my body. There is no worrying, no thinking. Where the world ends, only I exist. I am free from personalities, from people, and from problems. Society does not exist. I can listen. I can learn the language of the birds and of the winds. Before I tumble off with the world, I need only breathe. I need only be a fearless wanderer. A bold lover. A free spirit.
I never jump. That is much too bold for someone like me. Jumping is impulsive, explosive; almost certainly will I disturb the peace I built before. So, I simply fall. I focus on my breathing as a step over the edge. Free falling is the most incredible thing. Life pauses as the world falls with you. Motion ceases. Noise turns into an inaudible hum.
I fall from the ceiling of the earth straight into the welcoming arms of another world. Our world and its heavy boots, myself and my heavy boots, we all fall together. I am always afraid that the heavy boots on my feet will drag me to the bottom of the lake, keeping me there forever. But they untie themselves as I plunge and shatter the water’s surface into a million droplets. They fall away with everything else.
And I am the only one who resurfaces.