I stood at the cliff face afraid to look down. I expected that I would see an unfathomable void; a bottomless pit with no equal. I expected that I would stare into its depths and know some form of nihilistic terror. I expected that if I looked I would lose my nerve.
I did glance down. I couldn’t help myself. It was an involuntary reaction, almost instinctual in feel. It confused me. There was the bottom, almost more visible than the back of my own outstretched hands. I could gather up all the details in my mind and piece it into a concrete reality. It seemed wholly mundane, and yet it terrified me. Probably more than that bottomless pit, it dropped the floor of my stomach until it mirrored those expectations.
I could feel the actuality of that ground nearly drag me over the edge. There was a comfort in that bottomless pit. A reassurance that if I stepped back and walked away I would be justified. Now I would just seem like a coward. That known quantity carried with it a burdensome expectation. Under such conditions a logical person would act, and I am a logical person. Right?
I couldn’t do it. Well, more accurately I could have, but I did not. The pressure felt too great and the stakes too high, so I folded and walked away. There was no one there to judge me but I could handle that myself.
Maybe in time I will build a bridge.