I just took a 2 week trip to the Netherlands, <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Terschelling,+Netherlands&hl=en&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.244827,103.447266&vpsrc=0&hnear=Terschelling&t=h&z=12">Terschelling</a> island to be specific. I stayed with some friends at a wonderful, but raw, building known as the "Wierschuur".
It rained most of the nearly two weeks and yet it seemed appropriately apropos to the situation at hand. The rain did not dampen, but rather, contextualized the hardiness necessary to survive this life.
Six months earlier I had been in the Netherlands and spent a day with a close friend Eddie who took his own life on Easter Monday. Therefore being back on his 'turf' was rather special and a way to engage in a certain closure. Time was spent being inspired at the local islands cemetery with moments of moving beauty and poetry. The text on the gravestone pictured speaks of a devastated family in which the children and the parents have died unexpectedly from a contagious illness on Terschelling island.
"<em><strong>...Vier offers aan den dood
in een en twintig dagen
Hoe zwaar valt mij dat kruis;
toch moet ik 't willig dragen..</strong></em>."
Eddie would have taken much delight in giving me a full historical overview and translation of this text.
"<em><strong>Four sacrifices to the dead
in one and twenty days
I am struck by how heavy the cross is;
I do bear it willingly</strong></em>"
I had spent much time on the topic of suicide during my LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) New York Studio program award- where I was given an atelier in the <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=233+Broadway,+New+York,+NY+10007&ll=40.71259,-74.008112&spn=0.011271,0.025256&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&cid=0,0,8397432049140688342&fb=1&hq=Woolworth+Building&hnear=Woolworth+Building&geocode=0,40.712308,-74.008102&t=h&z=16&vpsrc=0">Woolworth Building</a> across from Ground Zero outside my window during the duration of my award. It inspired me in part to create a video loop project on the theme of romanticized death through the use of imaginary ruins- in this case the <a href="https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Woolworth_Building">Woolworth Building</a>. It debuted as part of the Studio Museum's (of Harlem) video program and was intended as an endless loop.
Back to the present tombstones, I am struck by the <a href="https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Lichen">beauty of the invasive lychen</a> on the tombstones in part reminded me of my organic "<em>Goddess Constellations</em>". I can't help but think that the <em>Goddess</em> was there...somehow.