Memento Mori

Summer for me is almost over. Back in the classroom for a writing and grammar workshop in two weeks, teacher meetings to follow, and then the serious business of the year gets started. Wrapping things up–lazy mornings with a pot of tea, long walks, hour-long swims, afternoons lost in a book, meandering scribbles on pages, all trickling down to a thin stream soon.

Just finished rereading Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Densely packed prose of beauty. So haunted. Big Ben booms out the time across the city throughout the book, signaling the tyrant Time’s mastery, and yet at the same time, characters move in and out of time, seeing themselves young again as well as old, past those dreams of youth, now reflecting on the unfulfilled promise their lives could have been. I first tried rereading the novel right after 9/11; I wanted something far removed from the horror of that present. But twenty pages in, WWI imposes the residues of its own horrors–Septimus Warren Smith in the grips of shell shock. I put it down. But this past year I have finally come back to Woolf and find myself tumbling through her concerns–with time, with aging, with meaning, with memory. A masterpiece.

An artist friend was moving this week to his new house–it involved transporting one of his prize possessions, a fully articulated skeleton. Fun to photograph, and fitting in with the theme of time. Memento Mori.

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