If you are disturbed by disturbing images, you better do something else for the next few minutes. My fascination with the dark side is emerging. I have looked into the abyss. It left scars. This helps soothe them, much like pouring water on an oil fire will spread the fire. In this case, however, it is affirmation that humans have always looked into the abyss...and survived. Spreading that pain over larger pools of sufferers does lessen it somehow. OR in far less wordy terms...misery loves company.
First normal day since the trip started. Pain at relatively good levels, still that circulation issue in the toes. As soon as I can get out on Monday, I will have to call the foot doc. *Pokes phone bills*
Got all the laundry out of the bags, along with all the memento vitae from the trip. Ah., memento vitae. Well, those loony Victorian English people (and Gawds knows I LOVE me some Victorian English stuff, so loony is quite affectionately said) went about creating memento mori (those delightful portraits made from dead people's hair, or those pieces of jewelry that incorporated skulls and other body parts...not to mention those post mortem posed formal portraits that are absolutely deliciously chilling in their stark beauty. Allow me to demonstrate.
This beautiful brooch is made from human hair. According to this excellent website, this might have been made from the deceased one's hair. Imagine the work involved!
Rather a goth look to these very old pieces...sorry, kids. Ain't nuttin' new under the sun, really.
But these photos? See for yourself.
Far be it from me to attempt to assess the grief relief that these practices brought to the families. But posing dead and living children together would require a home atmosphere that would be alien to many of us, who are programmed to accept death as an institutionalized, depersonalized process - calls are made, bodies moved about, services scheduled, and all at a remove from the home in which the deceased actually lived. Children are taken somewhere formal to view dead relatives, an act which automatically increases the separation and distance. Good? Bad? Hardly MY call. But I can't help but think that these same Victorians, whose death practices are so different that I felt compelled to post a trigger warning at the beginning of this piece, would view our mechanical, papershuffling, by the numbers death process to be just as horrifying. Different strokes.
So, all this in explanation of my new motto - MEMENTO VITAE.
If memento mori means remember death - then memento vitae is remember life. And that is what I intend to do - each and every one of my remaining HUGE BACKSTOCK OF DAYS!!!
So, I bid you, Memento Vitae.