Facing the abyss, you notice how cold your legs feel.
Right about to jump into the unknown — to take that scary step — and suddenly your attention goes to the feeling of chill in your lower body.
That’s an unusual thing to notice. But it’s something to notice other than the abyss. So you put your attention there. It feels good. Like you can warm yourself up with your thinking.
“Are my legs usually this cold? Hmmm. I wonder if this is the way it is normally, or if this is a function of being in front of the great, yawning abyss? I wonder if there’s something related to being in front of the abyss that would create this kind of reaction.”
You get fascinated with the way your legs feel.
For just a brief moment, you set aside what’s in front of you, and you turn some of your attention to this odd phenomenon. You pull out your phone and start searching.
You try a variety of search phrases: “Cold legs in front of abyss”, “Does the abyss make your legs cold?”, and “Legs cold abyss funny meme”, to name a few.
You get a few results, but not a lot.
Contrary to what you might expect, the lack of results actually increases your interest. Maybe there’s something here, and perhaps you’re the first one to really look into this.
You begin doing a little more research. You start by broadening your inquiry, just looking at what causes cold legs in general, and if it’s possible to feel cold when the ambient temperature around your body is still warm.
You take some time to do a little bit field work, and notice that when you go jogging and then finish, there’s a period of time where your legs feel warm but the surrounding air feels cool. This seems like the reverse of that abyss thing. Maybe there’s some connection.
By now, you’ve been spending a while on this research. You’re starting to get known for it, and you share it with your friends at parties. You mention the abyss you were going to leap into in passing, but the stories are now much more focused on this interesting leg-temperature research you’re doing. People start asking you about it, and sharing how they too have noticed this issue.
You become something of a coach, supporting people to get to the heart of their leg temperature, and helping them adjust themselves to manage this pre-abyss lack of heat accordingly.
Thanks to your hard work, people no longer need to worry about the temperature in their body when facing down the gaping unknown that is the abyss.
Except that that’s all they really worry about. Because it’s all you really worry about.
You make yourself feel better about this fact by standing close to the abyss and talking about how you’re doing your work to stay near it. You talk about how you’re going to cross that abyss someday, but just need to spend a little more time doing research first. After all, people are relying on you now! They need you to complete what you started.
All of this to avoid facing the unknown. It seems so noble and so fascinating. So purpose-driven.
But it’s not. It’s simply a distraction to stave off the oblivion represented by the unknown.
Yes, your legs are cold.
Yes, you could put your attention there.
What about if you just jumped?
The abyss waits, patiently.