A splash, and WHOOSH! I am spinning over the edge of the world, enveloped in the spray of a never-ending cascade. I fall. And yet still I fall. And though I am in flight, curiously, I have no fear of falling. It is as a dream, yet it is not a dream. I laugh a little as the thought flits across my mind, “The cartographers were wrong.” It is a strangely humorous idea. So much effort for such small gain, I reflect: How rarely do we trouble ourselves to learn, preferring instead the opinions of those we label ‘experts.’ Experts like mapmakers, those gods who create our composite visions of the landmasses and oceans on which we exist. And yet even gods may err.
I feel the tickle of foam across my skin as I float downward, my momentum carrying me ever on. Is it still down, I wonder, if there is no earth beneath, no gravity to draw me in? I see the thundering water surrounding me thin as it vaporises in the bright air and forms a light fog over all. There has always been a fog over the eyes and minds of men, I think. Try as we might, and do, yet the answers ever elude us. Just as solidity eludes my feet, I observe.
Firm footing is a precious commodity: Those who may find it, find with it peace and strength, byproducts of a value to rival their parent. But there will always be those who fall, as I continue to fall.
Then abruptly, impact. I hear a splash, years from my first, and as the coolness envelops me, I find that this one too is mine. I sink into the blue for a moment, an eternity. And then I am up and free and breathing. I blink away droplets, and stare once more at the waterfall from whose heights I have just leapt. I try and recall my thoughts, but they flow away like water, evading my grasp. Strangely sad at a loss I do not understand, a barely remembered moment of absolute clarity, I push their memory far into a dusty corner, safe for another day. Turning away, I smile again as I join my laughing friends and plunge once more into the cold, cold depths below.