Sunday, 13 February 2011

Memento mori

Yesterday we tried to visit the Highgate cemetery. We only got to the east side, because the guided tour of the west side was washed away by hail and rain. I also wasn't sure if I wanted to see whether my camera can swim or not.
It is easy for an English graveyard to look all adventurous and romantic. Because of the constant humid weather, even a 10 years old tombstone looks like something from the time of secrets and druids. Covered by moss and ivy.

But it also made me think... Who did we build graves for? For the dead? I bet they don’t care, no matter what we believe in. If they are really religious and they sit up on the clouds with their chosen God, would they really care where their carcass is located? If they believe they are dead for good and no Gods, no honey, no endless mercy, but worms and decay, would they really want a little stone house to commemorate their own remains?

Is it for us to remember? I remember alright to every soul I ever loved and lost, I don’t need to visit memories made of marble.

Is it for us to show to other people that we care? I think we are sorry creatures if we care for the dead instead of caring for the living. And so many times we only care for those people when they are gone.

Yeah let’s make nice big tombs so we can push away our bad conscious of mistreating our relatives while they were still alive. As if it helps.

Humans are strange. We are so much the victims of our pride and vanity that we actually make cities for dead, where we can show off our money and love. Oh so weird.

That said I have seen the grave of Marx. More famous next time, when we actually look at the west side. Malcolm McLaren, here I come.
On the way back to the top of Highgate we have visited a pub. Not an unusual thing in itself, but this one happened to have the first ever autopsy made in one of its rooms. Obviously the ancient Egyptians and Rembrandts friend Nicolaes Tulp would have something to say about that… And it also has a ghost. Spanish maid apparently. And Dick Turpins hidden booty.

Food was good, I had haddock, Brendon had pigeon.

Tomb of the mossy kind
Ivy and the moss
In the pub with the ghost
More tombs, moss and ivy


  1. Pál utcai /24/a/17 February 2011 at 02:51

    Maga olyan okos,eredetien gondolkozó és nemes lélek,hogy kockázat nélkül nagy jövőt jósolok Kegyednek.
    Szegény marad.Sose lesz Magából milliomos.
    A temetők régen szépek voltak nálunk is.
    Huisinga leírja,hogy a középkor egy szakaszában kedvelt sétáló,sőt szórakozóhelyek voltak.
    A mohás képei,de a saját magukat mutató is nagyon jó/jók.

  2. Én pediglen erre azt mondom:
    "Kivánatosb a jó hírnév nagy gazdagságnál; ezüstnél és aranynál a kedvesség jobb." (Péld. 22,1)

  3. Távol legyen,hogy sürgessem,de az élet rövid!