A lot about suicide going on this week. Both Esha and Gavin are in the Cycle Against Suicide tomorrow from Rockwell College Cashel to Ursuline College Thurles. So they are cycling from Gavin’s school to Esha’s.
In work people are registering for the “Darkness into Light” walk raising funds for Pieta House, which has a huge role in addressing self esteem issues in young people.
The big hit TV series is “13 Reasons Why” the Netflix show which follows the set of cassette tapes recorded by a teenage girl before she commits suicide. Teenagers are eating it up. I watched it myself and really enjoyed it. But. Sorry…BUT (it’s a big but).
As one commentator pointed out tonight on the radio, they are young, they are downright hot, they are so cool, they are all good looking, well dressed, highly alluring. The production is glossy, the music is fantastic, there is a teenager driving a Ford Mustang for goodness sake. They are the teenagers that teenagers want to be. They are the fashion queens, the sports jocks, the cheerleaders, the smart kids, the ones who matter. When the teenagers your teens want to be are killing themselves in a form of revenge ritual you need to be concerned. Maybe the reports are anecdotal, maybe not, but all suicide and self-harm agencies are reporting a rise in incidents.
So to my newest favourite poet, who has just released a new poem. Not about suicide, but about the very opposite. I just love this sentiment. It reflects what I believe about social media. When you are having fun, put the phone away. Live in the moment. It doesn’t last long. Celebrate the NOW.
Blink and You’ll Miss It: by Esha Hourihane Clancy
Unlike a million other things, happiness is a choice.
A choice we all have and one we all make,
make for ourselves but for others we fake.
Fake a smile, fake a laugh,
whose to know, or much less care?
When you smile the world smiles back.
It can’t see past the façade we wear.
I cannot be bought by the wealthy nor donated to the poor.
Who am I? What am I for?
Why do plays and poems celebrate the aching and breaking of hearts?
The rolling of heads and the rolling of tears precede and interrupt the happier parts.
I guess poets and playwrights know all too well
that it is best to write when you are drowning in hell.
What a sin it would be to pick up a pen while laughing.
To interrupt joy in such gross kind, you would certainly scare it away.
A deer in the woods isn’t so hard to catch.
Document the sad times, the sloths and the snails.
Fill oceans with tears and draw great blue whales.
Sing sad songs ’til the cows come home
but don’t ever try to write a happy poem.
Lions and tigers are too fast for your flash.
Reach for your pen and off they’ll dash.
Don’t worry about forgetting it
because it’s going to get forgotten.
Just enjoy it now, before it’s gone.