I was talking with my friend Paula the other day about my findings, discoveries and amazing stuff I am learning and observing during this Memento Mori study. Paula, who is a visual poet, landscape architect and teacher at Cornell had her own observations and interest in this same topic. She set her landscape architecture students a semester long project of drawing graves at the biggest, oldest cemetery in Ithaca. She was intrigued by the stones that said Mother, Father, Sister and Brother...and how that language set up an interesting rhythm--a Philip Glassian, mantra that continued on and on...Paula, upon hearing about Lulu books plans on doing a photographic journal just on that. This prompted us to talk about what about Mother/Father/Sister/Brother...and when those people are gone, and those that carry their memory are gone...are they dead? is memory living? and if you are held in other's memory--either directly or through the puritanical genealogy that is drubbed into us by our parents--is that a way of justifying our own memories or establishing a structure we as descendants are hung from?
Is memory the afterlife beyond own own personal understanding, our personal religious beliefs, our faith?
We then spoke about willows and how they are rightful symbols to life everlasting. Paula drew this wonderful line drawing of how the willows grow, sending suckers down to root in the ground. The new tree grows and evolves--also sending suckers down..and so on. As long as there is plenty of light and even more water, the willows continue. So the victorian image of the weeping tree, or the leafy version done in New England--represents a natural idea that supports this endless cycle of life. Nice to think about as we speed down the Central New York road--seeing willow upon willow, the green fountains of life, and leaves.
Another perfect day. A little cool to swim...but I think we may make the attempt. School starts Wednesday. A's grandparent birthday is tomorrow. The baseball game was fun...Redwings lost to the Buffalo Bisons. Nice crowd of people...with our row mates offering us candy from their huge bags of twizzlers etc. and a silly man called "the Wing Nut" blowing a whistle continually and ringing two cow bells. Fall doesnt seem to far away.
Tonight, R has to be Manager on Duty at the Museum (which is until 8)--so the home team will join him to see the Harvard Flowers Show, buy the cheap glass pumpkins and amuse ourselves until he can go. Should be fun.