about Japan

Suicide

Truth or tactwins Japan’s popularity contest.

But.

For the first time in 15 years it’s fallen below 30,000 people.

Yay.

My brain can’t really relate to those figures so I need an explanation in this vein:
Prior to 2012, 30,000+ people committed suicide a year= 1 suicide every 15 minutes.
2012 proud stats, 27,766 suicides committed= 1 suicide every 20 minutes.

I get that statistics and accuracy aren’t really a sure thing but when the aforementioned figures are also supported here and there, my skeptical ass knows those numbers aren’t so far off.

So combine an historically proud suicide method with the present-day ubiquity of said death and two things happen: a strange romanticism surrounding suicide emerges and desensitization strikes.

Regarding a certain romanticism, there’s a forest- Aokigahara Forest (Sea of Trees) that became an extraordinarily popular suicide spot after the novel Kuroi Jukai (the black sea of trees) by Seicho Matsumoto was published.  It’s a beautiful site that when combined with a lyrical work, somehow soft focuses a cruel, selfish and tortuous exit.

I can’t count the number of trains that have been delayed on account of suicide in the one year I’ve lived here.  In fact, if I’m late to work, suicide on the tracks is often assumed and as I write that, I realize I have been thoroughly desensitized.

Sadness.

Suicide isn’t a taboo subject but avoiding that road to perdition- psychotherapy- sure as fuck is.
Yep, I’ll be talking about that before too long.

Topical fact:
Dazai Osamu, writer who really wanted out of this life
1st attempt: solo, with pills.
2nd attempt: with a 19-year-old bar hostess, drowning (beach of Kamakura).  She died.
3rd attempt: solo, hanging.
4th attempt: with his wife, pills.  Both survived.
5th attempt: with his new wife, drowning in the Tamagawa canal.  Both died.

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random love

Good grief

The other dayis another familiar.

You need to try to master the ability to feel sad without actually being sad.

~Mingyur Rinpoche,
(quoted by Laurie Anderson, November 21st 2013 issue of Rolling Stone)

I believe in the good grief.

There was a five-year period in my life where I grieved.  A lot.
There were deaths and a most significant break up.  One terminal illness was such an intimate part of my life, I might as well have been in bed with it.

A dear friend recently shared a death experience.  The feelings, confusion and questions brought on by the grieving process- how and when to deal or not deal- makes me think, look back and consider who I was then and who I am now as a result.

Grieving is inconvenient.

I realize that the sly workings of grief overwhelm at the most unexpected moments.  I think I am okay, I feel myself smiling because I feel a genuine, warm happiness from within when suddenly, my heart is hollowed out and I gasp, in shock that I am felled so immediately and completely.  It doesn’t matter that the tears don’t fall because I’m wrecked from the inside, can’t catch my goddamn breath and there goes my plan for the next few hours because I must simply feel out this pain.  I am immobilized.

Except this time when I look around, you aren’t there.
This time it’s the death of us that I grieve.
There’s no you to talk to, cry with, come home to.
It hits harder, sadder because before, with you, sharing the grief was so…unlonely.

Time can help.

But it’s not the ultimate panacea.  My heart still breaks 2, 5, 8, 10, 13 years after the fact.
It’s not as raw but it still hurts and…truth?  Sometimes, every so often, it is as raw.

Sometimes it takes a friend from long ago to identify changes within myself.  It seems that I am more open and caring.  But then again if I didn’t evolve after confronting childhood demons, heartbreak, grief, and probing and challenging relationships, what a waste of life experience on me, no?

I can sit in death’s aftermath, maintain a clear line of reason and be optimistic about the future, even, but I can’t not be sad when I’m feeling the sadness.

Feel sad and not actually be sad?
I’m working on it.

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