Suicidal Despair: A Total Eclipse of the Sun

I turned back to the sun. It was going. The sun was going, and the world was wrong. Annie Dillard, “Total Eclipse” (from Teaching a Stone to Talk)

The words above are three simple sentences from Annie Dillard‘s widely praised essay, published in 1982, that describes in detail her experience of witnessing a total eclipse of the sun. You can read a recent reprint in The Atlantic.

As GoodReads reviewer “Jenny” writes:

On the surface, it seems like an innocent enough story, a recollection of a journey to see an eclipse, but the act of witnessing the eclipse awakens the writer into the realities of life. Through the stages of the eclipse, she travels through time and space, witnessing and experiencing lives that are not hers but are shared by all who partake in the human experience. At one point, she hears someone refer to the eclipse as looking like a life saver (the candy) and translates it to literally be a life saver because it pulls her back to reality.

The sun was going, and the world was wrong. This could also serve as a metaphor for the symptoms of despair and hopelessness that lead some people toward suicidal desperation.

A new suicide prevention video movingly and powerfully captures the essence of a gay teen’s inability to find acceptance and the utter devastation that brings. But it turns out that it’s not too late for him. In the end, things will be okay. Better than okay.

The song is rapper Logic‘s “1-800-273-8255,” the actual number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Included in the video’s story are singers Alessia Cara and Khalid and actors Coy Stewart (the boy in question), Nolan Gould (the object of his affection), and Don Cheadle and Matthew Modine as their dads.

Add yourself to the seven-million-plus viewers who’ve watched this in the few days since its release. You can also scroll down below for all the lyrics, courtesy of Genius.com:

[Pre-Chorus: Logic]
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine

[Chorus: Logic]
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die
And let me tell you why

[Verse 1: Logic]
All this other shit I’m talkin’ ’bout they think they know it
I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter
I know it I know it I know I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home
Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine

[Pre-Chorus: Logic]
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine

[Chorus: Logic]
I want you to be alive
I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die today
You don’t gotta die
I want you to be alive
I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die
Now lemme tell you why

[Verse 2: Alessia Cara]
It’s the very first breath
When your head’s been drowning underwater
And it’s the lightness in the air
When you’re there
Chest to chest with a lover
It’s holding on, though the road’s long
And seeing light in the darkest things
And when you stare at your reflection
Finally knowing who it is
I know that you’ll thank God you did

[Verse 3: Logic]
I know where you been, where you are, where you goin’
I know you’re the reason I believe in life
What’s the day without a little night?
I’m just tryna shed a little light
It can be hard
It can be so hard
But you gotta live right now
You got everything to give right now

[Pre-Chorus: Logic]
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine

[Chorus: Logic]
I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die today
I don’t wanna die
I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die
I don’t wanna die

[Outro: Khalid]
Pain don’t hurt the same, I know
The lane I travel feels alone
But I’m moving ’til my legs give out
And I see my tears melt in the snow
But I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry anymore
I wanna feel alive
I don’t even wanna die anymore
Oh I don’t wanna
I don’t wanna
I don’t even wanna die anymore

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