Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weeping Angels

Religious symbols are common in older grave sites expressing the values and customs of a specific theology. Angels, crosses are abundant in Christian cemeteries. In the mid to late 1800's, however, other motifs also appeared. As people became more prosperous works of art were often included. Simple headstones were replaced or supplemented by larger statues depicting the book of life, personifications of death, and some that defy easy labeling. Some are hideous but some of these are elegant examples of quality artistic form. All sought to express the pain of loss and the hope for something more.
Victorian sensibilities are often seen by moderns as morbid but in truth they were realistic. They understood that, as much as we might dislike it, death is a part of life. It is the goal of every person to enter the door marked "Exit."
Where we go and what happens after are the discussions of theologians and scientists. How we go and when is usually a thing of chance. The one sure thing is that death is subtle presence we all have to come to term with and the sight of these gentle angels weeping encourages us to do it now and not later.

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