Friday, September 04, 2009

A Book About Death

My friend Anthony Saint James and I have contributed a piece to this exhibition opening in New York on Thursday 10th September.

Though I enjoyed quoting the author of my favourite book in the universe, this image is really ALL about Anthony's photograph. (There is more of this to come - but more on that over the coming weeks). On the back is a quote by another one of my favourite writers, Buddy Wakefield, whose line was chosen for its interesting parallel with Emily Bronte's quote and the world she inhabited - every day lived overlooking a graveyard and watching her sisters, brother and half the village succumb to consumption in their twenties.

Death though was virtually an additional family member in Haworth during the 1800s. Looking constantly over the shoulders of the villagers, down whose only street ran the toxic effluent of a pre-drainage era, Emily must have looked rather less fearfully into the grave than we would, as of course, she was off to meet her sister Anne and two older siblings before her. Perhaps death is the great big lie-down after the graft of a long life well lived - as opposed to a constant threat or thing to be feared.

And the notion that the earth would actually quite like to hang on to us a bit longer is charming, if not another good reason to be buried in the earth coffinless and un-embalmed with a sapling and a microchip over us (my plan; yours might be different).

So 'let go', as Buddy says. Because I don't know about you, but 'I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of not living'. (Exodus 77).

The show is on till 22nd September, and you can read more about it here.

(Oh come on, after the pretty fruits and records, you were expecting some darkness, surely?)

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