20 September, 2004
England, The River Ouze
It is a cool, rainy day and I am seemingly in the middle of nowhere like a man who finds himself transported through space and time in a Twilight Zone episode.
I am standing next to the River Ouze and there is a melancholy that washes over me. The River Ouze, oh yes 1 remember now. In 1941 Virginia Woolf ended her life here. Was it a day like today I wonder. Did she feel the melancholy, too, or was she at peace while picking up the rocks that would help her descend below the brown slow moving water? Where did she enter? Was it close to where I am standing?
Did the location matter at all or was it the entire river that first whispered, enticed and finally, welcomed her below to drift and remember and inhale. Did she still think that "..madness is terrific.."?
In one's own depression things are magnified. Small pains, exhaustion, a desire to end, but other people's pains are magnified as well as if to create invisible comrades. To not be alone with the 'black dog' and to seek some shred of hope and relief from the possibility that this may be your life always. That hope, while necessary, is precarious and fragile and sometimes itself too heavy and one just lets go. I suspect letting go gave Virginia some peace. A decision was made at last that ensured the pain was not infinite and that she herself had some control.
The air is filled with moisture but the rain has stopped and in the distance I thought I heard a train. I love trains.
I'm not ready to follow you, Virginia.