Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Where's My Ice Floe?

Although the senilicide attributed to Eskimos was never actually a generalized custom, but rather an exceptional emergency response to famine in the 18th century, the idea captures my imagination.

It's not that I have elders to dispose of, as my parents and grandparents have been all dead for years. Rather, I find calm in the idea of climbing on an ice floe with the intention of drifting away in arctic seas without food or covering until death comes.

It seems a humane way of ending what at a certain age -- mine -- begins to become a useless repetition of failures and missteps that will only worsen. Instead of steady impoverishment, physical decline, probable dementia and an eventual long descent onerous to relatives and society at large -- not to mention supremely boring to myself -- the idea of drifting off leaves me in a supreme peace.

From my years in Canada I have learned that freezing to death is, among ways to die, relatively pleasant. Cold overcomes consciousness, one drifts into a sleep from which one never awakes. All in a matter of hours.

Let's face it, death isn't going to be easy or painless. A few hours of drifting away in subzero temperatures might entail a bit of initial discomfort, but it seems bearable to me.

No more waiting through useless decades of "golden age" ... just a quiet drift into silence. Where's my ice floe?
Post a Comment