Sunlight reflected off a windshield in the rain

I have been at a point of quiet contemplation lately and by lately, I mean most of the weekend. When I find a moment to escape into my head, I find my thoughts revolve around a painfully familiar axis: suicide. Not that I’m thinking about doing it or that I’m feeling that nasty edge creep up on me again. I have always been attracted to suffering and tragedy; it is what I write best and I feel most in touch with myself when the grieving process drags me through the shards of whatever it is that has just struck me. However, they are not always my tragedies and losses that impact me. I find the suffering of others intriguing and beautiful. I’m not really sure why. I’ve had the death of one person I never met hit me so hard that I was a little frightened. Why did it matter so much? Why did my heart absorb it and stitch it into the canvas of my life?

Last night, ku nkiko and I simulataneously read about Carter Cooper’s suicide. Two different books about two vastly different things and not five minutes after I read ku nkiko the passage Anderson wrote about the day Carter died, she grabbed my arm and read me a sentence or two from her book that had just mentioned his suicide as well.

Stories of suicide and the quiet suffering of those who left and those who were left behind interest me. Sick, morbid, an embarrassing fixation. Perhaps it’s because I’ve come close to being a member of both sets (gone, left behind) that I need to understand how it happens and how people survive just in case. Just in case.

The quiet contemplation. I’m reading two books simultaneously that deal with grief and pain and a strong need to keep moving to stay afloat. What does one do when one’s life comes to an abrupt halt? What does one do when all the plans change without warning? I still don’t know. Years of studying, of hypothesising, of building up elaborate schemes hasn’t given me any kind of answer. I don’t know why I’m this way. I don’t know why stories of tragedy seem more like home to me than stories of love and happiness and fruitful gain.

I just don’t know.


Posted on July 31, 2006, in Bullet In the Brain-Pan, Pretty happy fun friends, Rambling. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Sunlight reflected off a windshield in the rain.

  1. wow. What a tragic and moving story.

    The way you say you feel about finding suffering intriguing and beatiful is like the quote from the article you linked: “The only thing I really knew is that I was hurting and needed to go someplace where the pain outside matched the pain I was feeling inside. Somalia seemed a good place to start.”

    Sometimes I feel the same sort of need to get away from this nice Air-Conditioned-American-Dream life that I live in order to see, and hear, and smell, and experience the less desirable parts of life like pain and agony. Its weird to write that, but its true. Is it that I want to get close to that pain … to walk the line … to quasi-experience it … just so that I can appreciate all that I have? I have no clue.

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