At first it was more intriguing and curious than unnerving.  The idea of a suicide forest near Mount Fuji was unreal in a fantastic kind of way.  I had heard and forgotten about it in a matter of hours.  But then this video…

***

I had to write something about it before the whirlwind of “obligations” swept me up again.  I don’t think it matters if you are the quiet, stoic man who seldom says a word or the chatter-box woman who is always talking but not always saying anything, I keep feeling more and more that something is desperately wrong with the depth and means of communication.  We each do our best to justify our specific brand of avoidance and escapism, pointing fingers and vilifying the caricatures of personality stereotypes, but when all is said and done, the problem is pandemic.

Just thinking about the laundry-list of responsibilities, expectations, social exigencies, and personal stresses, I feel overwhelmed.  And I know I am not alone in this.  Each day of life is another lesson in social and emotional intelligence, and when we are still struggling to deal with what we have learned so far, the thought of actually being who we think we could or should be becomes more and more daunting.

On a good day, I check enough off of the list to feel accomplished; on a bad day I hide in either literal solitude or walls of sarcasm and accusations.  On most days, though, I get so caught up in trivial distractions, menial duties and evasive conversations and interactions that I never stop to think about how much my life has diverged from the path I wish I was on.

What scares me is how much I, as well as many of you, could probably relate to the people whose bodies are found in this forest.  The same disconnected feeling, the desperation for something, anything to validate our life, and feeling trapped by tasks and jobs we don’t take anything away from but a paycheck.  What is the difference between them and us?  Scares me to death to think that some of th0se people asked themselves the same question, then got their answer.  Something is wrong.

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