I’m sure we’ve all experienced it, I know I have. That niggling voice in the back of your head while driving at high speeds reminding you that just one twist of your arm would be enough to end it all. Or that rush you get when looking down a tall building or cliff that really brings home that one step would send you over the edge, literally.

Turns out there’s a phrase for this: L’appel du vide, or, the call of the void.

l'appel du vide - the call of the wild


I remember speaking to my mom about this, how it’s such a crazy thought. And how we do not heed these thoughts because we are rational, autonomous human beings, who recognize action and reaction, cause and consequence.

I never really considered these to be suicidal thoughts in my head, to me it feels more like a “what if” moment. A short mind-brush with death. Knowing how close it really is. A step away, a movement away. And death itself, being (for me, at least) the great unknown, well. In moments of irrational thought I suppose it can be appealing, awakening our curiosity. And for a split moment we might find ourselves wondering just what it would be like, and how easy it would be to just let go.

I find this phenomenon to be quite appropriatly named.