A pastoral escape
Some days, despite all of my best efforts, it seems I am incapable of doing anything but suffer. Images of beauty are discoloured by the cynical film that coats my perspective. Happy memories pierce my lonely heart in these silent moments. Crafting words, or music, or images only magnifies my isolation. The emptiness is overwhelming.
So, here I am, seeking solace in audience.
Perhaps I am meant to find beauty in darkness. There is an old fantasy of sorts playing in my mind. The odd comfort it gives me is, well, sad in itself. Yet, it is the only comfort I can, currently, find.
A few years back, when I actually had a little money tucked away, I found a property that could have been perfect. Almost three acres of flat forest with a small, uninsulated cabin and a shed, for a song. If I had tripped across it three months earlier, I could have bought it outright. It did need a well. And, eventually, a proper house. But, it was a twenty minute walk from town. And, I am fairly certain that I could have managed winter in the cabin with the wood stove and some good layers. At least until I’m done with menopause. I am a blast furnace myself! And, I honestly don’t mind rustic at all.
Well, the connection I had to the area turned out to be a bad one and my motivation to purchase the property became seriously impaired. I did, however, continue to fantasize about having that secluded, solace-filled space to dwell on; far away from the crowded, chaotic isolation of the city. I began to imagine what it would be like to just live as a hermit in nature. Existing off of the land. Leaving the world of human error behind me. And, I thought of my fear of dying alone.
I don’t know that I am actually afraid of dying. In truth, at this point in the journey, it often seems like a welcome escape. The idea of not enduring this world any longer, whether or not I continue in some form after, is more and more a comforting thing. No, it is not death itself I fear. It is what I will leave behind that scares me.
I have experienced the passing of more souls from this world than one would expect by my stage in life. As a result, I have given much thought to my own. If I can leave nothing else of value behind me, I would like my body to return to this earth and feed it as it should. And, my fantasy life in the forest became a way to imagine that I could.
I began to picture myself building, deep in the trees out of sight of any roads, not a house but a guillotine. Something that I could rig to so I could operate it and be guaranteed success. I imagined the quick clean choice to exit on my terms. To leave my body to nature; to feed wildlife; to mulch into the earth. And, to free the people I love from the burden of my sorrow, and my disposal. It all just felt right. Still does.
Perhaps I am maudlin, morose even. Perhaps I am disturbed. However, on days like today, when all else fails, the idea that I could give back to the earth, at least my molecules, gives me a sense of purpose that helps to keep me alive.
There is something beautiful in that.