The Call of the Void


I was speaking with a student last week, and she told me something cool that I thought I should share with you all:

L’appel du vide

This is French and refers to the psychological thing where perfectly sane folks stand on the edge of something tall and have secret thoughts about jumping. These are non-suicidal, not anxious people, and yet, they experience a distinct “L’appel du vide” or “Call of the Void.”

While this is a perfectly normal thing that people experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that I experience it more than most you… Ever since I went on that cruise a few years ago, and stood on the back of the boat, thinking about how no one would even know for hours that I was bobbing up and down miles behind in the ocean (and, okay, probably dead, but I promise that’s not even a tiny part of the call I felt).

“L’appel du vide” doesn’t just have to apply to the desire to literally jump, but I think it can also describe a figurative desire to jump into the void… which I feel almost every day.

The void of tattoos…

The void of men who ride motorcycles and/or play guitar…

The void of saying what I really think when it would be entirely inappropriate to do so…

The void of whatever…

And I think I combat it the way everyone does; I get as close to the edge as I safely can, and then, if that’s not satisfying enough, I dye my hair or leave the country for a bit.

I was also thinking of this as I read all of the stuff I have to read for Bible study/Surge nowadays. (Allow me to brag for a moment –> I’m all caught up despite starting two weeks late). This week’s reading was about sin, and my thoughts on the void got all stirred in with the theology of sin, and I started to think about the call of sin and how the angsty, unrestfull, urge toward the void feels an awful lot like the urge towards sin.

“L’apel du vide”…

I think I need another tattoo. 🙂

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