Remembering an old story on National Public Radio:  Japanese women with children who find themselves disgraced by abandonment and in distress, are said to walk with their children into the sea. [1]

Oya-ko shinju. To hold them close as they drown.

Here we are.  In Iowa.

The American Midwest.  Fly-over country.  Not Japan.

Too far from the ocean for my resolve not to falter before I get there.

And, I’m not really lyrical.

Or Buddhist.  Or even religious.

Not even enough to attract punishment.

Or the attention of the gods.

For the first time ever in my life I give active thought to suicide.

[1]  At the root of the Japanese ritual is this universal concept, beautifully expressed by Catherine Maurice, Whatever I thought intellectually was no match for that gut-level, entrenched, ultimately dangerous conviction that my child was somehow a product of, an extension of, me, in Let Me Hear Your Voice, (Knopf, 1993), at p. 13.