It seems to be in my nature to organize materials into discourse, and to write my way into thinking through topics that present themselves. For some potential readers this is simply too much, yet another instance of Informing Others Against Their Will, tl;dr. But for me it's PROCESS: how I fumble toward some semblance of understanding. In the present case of a Convivium on Death and Dying, it seems too important a subject to go with the glib and the offhand, to dodge the seriousness of the Question and the many issues it raises. It's an area that I've read and thought about quite a bit, but which I mostly haven't committed to paper or electronic media. Well, I say "mostly" but really ... thousands of images in cemeteries, an extensive collection of musical texts, and a long litany of books and articles read ... but what can I claim to know? How can I know what I think until I see what I say? (a mantra from the Writing Across the Curriculum movement). So here goes:

The last couple of weeks of chewing the bones of the subject has yielded thoughts under multiple rubrics:

  1. Brian's "Black Box" that "came his way"—there seems to be a typology of Boxes with different properties and processes, and we (mostly) don't get to choose.
  2. The Hole Left Behind: Remembered; the grief of others (of variable duration and effect)
  3. No Where To Go: We always had a Where ... cemeteries and memorials
  4. Preparation: stuff to get done Before
  5. Realizations: the vanity of attachments, the nature and limitation of Legacy
  6. Modalities of Understanding
The materials on the linked pages are partial, in-process, unfinished. The usual. Maybe I'll add more before and after tonight's Convivium.

see also cemetery photographs and Donne to Death