I was out on a romp of a local graveyard on a visit ‘home’ over the new year, loving life and in awe as ever at the way life and death turn around over and over like a clock, a pendulum, a pulse, the rhythm of life.
Three things struck me.
ONE: LIFE WILL OUT
Even on the unlikely stony surface of a gravestone, without planting, tending or much hope, moss flourishes; ladybirds are nesting, breeding, thriving (or maybe just hibernating – not sure how they work!); snowdrops that could reach the first rays of low sunlight were already bravely thrusting through the ground. Life is keen. Strong. Robust.
TWO: LITTLE IN LIFE CHANGES
We think we live in a fast-changing world and on the face of it, for sure, there’s a whole load of stuff around now that would make my grannie’s head spin (and to be honest, quite a lot of it makes my head spin). Fundamentally though, the big things stay the same. Day to day striving to live, love, meaning, connection, spirituality and the big existential puzzle that inspires creativity and expression. These are the things that make the world go round and would still drive us even if – heaven forfend (or godsend) – the internet imploded.
THREE: WE ARE MARK MAKERS
Angels carved onto stones, words and script on slabs. Sentiments. Records. Images. Our desire to connect from the past to the future is so strong. Our human connection so powerful. Our creative selves making music, song, writing words that will pass through the centuries. Could Shakespeare ever have imagined his legacy? Mozart? Mackintosh? And worth remembering how many of the most important mark makers were ridiculed, dismissed for outraging their contemporaries. David Shrigley gets a 2:2 for his art degree and turns out to be the stand-out student from his cohort as the decades pass.