Well here I am, another day. I look at the calendar and am just shocked at how fast time seems to be flying this summer. I tend to get a bit anxious when I think about fall. The changing seasons have always effected me deeply. Not so much earlier in life, but as I got older and into college. I never really considered how bad a winter could be, until I experienced an Ithaca winter. Cornell is known for its winter. The cold and snow combined with stress creates a brutal season. I think it only hammered home a deep and unsettling depression that was already building. I withdrew into myself and stopped functioning during the winter of my freshman year. I remember a beautiful snowy morning. Overnight more than a foot of snow had blanketed the arts quad and I remember standing there thinking it was so perfect. The snow was falling hard as I made my way to submit a paper. There were no classes that day. On my way back the road back out to north campus was closed. There were fire trucks and cops and campus police. The red lights flickered muted by the snow falling hard and fast. I ended up walking a much farther route to get back to my dorm. Word spreads fast, even on a big campus like Cornell. A grad student had jumped off the bridge over the gorge. A semester shy of his graduation. I remember so vividly, that day and the snow. The peacefulness of a quiet campus and a massive snow fall. I remember my mind thinking I walked across that bridge just minutes before him. why didn’t I jump. it was a perfect day to die. I found myself lost and angry. I was surprised by the depth of my feelings. I had no idea another’s suicide could elicit that type of response in me. I was not intimate with suicide yet, that would be almost a year later. But this experience stuck to me. I wore it from that snowy day on, much like a heavy invisible coat. Only I knew it was there.
I wonder how my subconscious processed that day. Did that play in to my suicide attempt on that snowy Nor’easter morning? Was I trying to complete that wish to die on a peaceful morning deep in fresh snow. I don’t know. But in writing this entry, I do wonder about that.
Cornell, with its absolutely breathtaking gorges has been known for the jumpers. In my time there, some but not all the bridges had been modified to try to prevent jumping. One of the suspension bridges, which had been a common spot for suicide was modified with very tall barriers. But the argument was always, why destroy the beauty of these old bridges, when a person could jump from anywhere along the paths that followed the sides of the gorges. I don’t think the bridges should be modified, and that is does detract from their beauty. Even if you were to change them all, people will still find a way to kill themselves.