Killing oneself is, anyway, a misnomer. We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, “He fought so hard.” And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.
Once, in this little jungle outpost called Pomio, villagers caught wind of that fact that I had solar panels on board. Before I knew it there was a steady queue of outrigger canoes dropping me their mobile phones. I was happy to oblige, it was no sweat off my back to put a little charge in their gear, but it’s what happened when they came back that got me: the old women would bring fresh coconuts to drink together, the young men would swing heaping sacks of sweet potatoes on board. It was a simple system that had nothing to do with wealth or status. It was a system of camaraderie and kindness, that approached life like it was a big pot and everyone was only expected to toss in whatever they had. And I loved it, you know?
Flutter is a dynamic instability of an elastic structure in a fluid flow, caused by positive feedback between the body’s deflection and the force exerted by the fluid flow. In a linear system ‘flutter point’ is the point at which the structure is undergoing simple harmonic motion - zero net damping - and so any further decrease in net damping will result in a self-oscillation and eventual failure.
It’s so hard to get naked on the page. It’s one of the hardest things to convey in my essay classes. You must be naked. You must understand that clothes are the illusion, and your readers are naked too. Humans are at war with themselves. Once you can accept this, your own wars become less shameful. I don’t mean exhibitionism. I mean honesty. The clothes are the illusion.