A piece of poetry from ATTH about rage, and the confusion between the desire to kill our physical bodies with suicide and the need for an outdated part of ourselves to die.
Easter Tree and the Good Girl Suicide
I can feel something inside me dying. My heart is swollen, like it’s being stretched, or surgically sliced. There’s grief, but I’m not sure if I’m grieving as the one who’ll soon be gone, or the one who’ll be left behind. Last night brushing my teeth was the first conscious thought of it.
“I think I want to die.”
Not quite matter of fact – definitely pained, despairing – but not surprised. I wasn’t aware of any connection with the time of year. And I wasn’t aware of it today either, walking in woodland with my heart impaled on a stick. It took at least an hour of noticing only the dead things (and here in the midst of Spring!) before I noticed what I was noticing. The bluebells were astonishing – the glow and the multitude of them – but it was the ash-laced soil, and bodies upon bodies of fallen giants, that made me take their photographs. Fire-lichen fed on and daubed some of them. While citadels of empty caves, stony outcrops, ferns and fungi had established themselves in upended root balls, no opportunity lost.
And when I found You, I was ready to come Home.
You lay there, so comfortingly, solidly and absolutely dead, and I climbed into Your arms. The only place for days, or miles, where I had found some peace. I lay on my belly on Your massive outstretched torso, protected by a nook in the drape of one of Your rigid arms, and I just breathed. I just breathed in, and out, for what felt like hours. Gazing, sideways and unfocused, across the clearing and out between all the young, slender, striving bodies teeming with life.
There was a thought about all the people that kill themselves every day.
There was a memory of something I’d read. Something about how we know when something in us needs to die, but how some people mix that up with needing to kill their own bodies. But then maybe the fear of being someone new, and the pain of staying the way we are, are both together just too much.
I can’t tell you how afraid I am of starting to say “no” – of being angry, lazy, selfish – when every fibre of me knows and knows it full how much more happy everyone else is when I am good for what they need. But the rough and unvarnishable fact now seems to be that I am very angry. And the heart, impaled, is dripping-sick of ‘understanding’ all the time and being kind, yet knows there’s not a single person in the line of those who count the most, who would truly hold it steady and rejoice to feel my wrath. Or even just my sloth! You can bet I’d know it pretty soon that frankly everyone liked it better before the good-girl suicide.
But then if she can’t die, the rest of me probably will, at least inside, given that I’m far too nice to dive under a train.
Once upon a time I worked for a man who had the fucking gall to praise me publicly for being the one member of the team who just does as she’s told. That would be on my gravestone up till now. Truly the stuff of heroes, no?
Oh Big Dead Tree! I want to suck up even some of Your authority and scream it forward into a tunnel that I can walk through. A little more triumphant; redeemed and unrepentant, on my knees to You and only You and come what may. To get back home and light a simple pyre for the little one who served me well – served them well – but just got tired and was ready to go Home. And if she wrote a note at all, I expect that in her way she’d need to say that she was sorry. So very sorry that she hurt or disappointed anyone, abandoned or caused guilt. That she loved you all a lot and that she loved to be so loved and so relied upon. And that it was just too much in the end.