Thursday, November 20, 2008


When I saw this old car I was reminded of the car my roommate bought when we were just out of high school forming a band. We had one great run to Winnipeg Beach with the girls and the picnic basket. The car died that first day on the return trip and lay an empty husk by the side of the road, the cost of towing it home more than it was worth.

Seeing this old car there in the field I thought that a lot of memories had ridden it. Many men measure their lives through vehicles as women so commonly remembered theirs through children.

Tim Curtis from Joy Division suicided at age 23. I watched the movie his wife Deborah made only because the band's name had come up in Peter Robinson's , "The Summer that Never Was", the "Inspector Banks" novel I've been reading since my trip to Texas Creek. Like Socrates Tim had epilepsy. Like Dylan Thomas he drank too much. I'd say his death was a waste but who am I to judge.

I was talking to a hairdresser who having watched the Three Faces of Eve was telling me about reading the work of Dr. Colin Ross, the psychiatrist who wrote the book, Dissociative Identity Disorder.

What did I think of the past, she asked, Could we change it?

I told her I thought the 'events' were God's will. What's done is done. As Omar Khayyam elegantly said, " the moving hand writes and having writ moves on." A negative event in the child's past had given rise to a whole series of events that followed in Eve's life. Yet equally had that event not occured the child might as easily have died. Too often people romanticize the road not taken without considering what is, is or may well be the 'best of a bad lot'. Then there's string theory, multi dimensional reality, black holes, relativity and the whole question of the validity of time.

If I suicide and St. Peter gives me a brand new harp and puts me at the head of the band then perhaps suicide isn't so bad after all. If on the other hand suicide lands me in a worse pit than the one I thought I was escaping then it's really isn't worth the bother.

The events of the past remain fixed but the spin that we put on any event so commonly depends on the events that follow. It's not over till the fat lady sings.

What we believe depends on our individual view about life itself. We don't like to admit that. We don't want to talk about it. But suicide means different things to different people.

The past is open to interpretation. The meaning, the thoughts and feelings with which I view these events is a 'social construct' even if the events themselves may be 'essentialist." If I believe that life is secularly separate and individual then I'll believe and feel wholly different than if I consider life sacred and everyone of us spiritually interconnected.

My friend asked if she could have my stuff when the rapture came.

The rusted car is central to the picture but life is all around it. Enjoying T.S.Elliott's, The Hollow Men, I really enjoyed hearing that 'Spirituality is growing love inside". Before my mother died, she told me she was tired. It was easier for my brother and I to decide we'd not wake her than it was for my father at 89. My friends' mother before her death on being asked why she hung on, answered, "I want to see how it turns out." "Don't leave until the miracle happens."

Since death is as inevitable as taxes it seems the most one can say for suicide is that it's impatience. It never seems to be timely. Given the elements I was glad to get this picture now.

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