Thursday, February 16, 2017
With us always
Walking around in a cemetery, reading the information on the grave stones. Dates and lists, Bible verses and little rhymes, occupations listed with family details, wise words, wish words and heartfelt tributes. I pause at each marker, each slab of granite or white stone cross. Moss and weather, stains from birds and sunlight masking once clear detail and slowly crumbling away the carved inscriptions, the angels, the open books, the skulls, the wreaths and the scroll work. Some of them were great, some maybe even good, most just ordinary people with their lives now summed up with a few chisel marks and pots where flowers should be placed. Some were too poor for any memorial other than a grassy bank, a space under a tree, an unmarked resting place. And I look at the names, I read the names, carefully I speak them out loud. Nobody has said that name out loud and into the living air, maybe not for a hundred years or more, maybe never properly, certainly never with my voice, up until now. The living, they are (we are) all here for a while. The dead are with us always.