Friday, April 13, 2012

Final exit

The gravestone of Dr. Wm. F. King (d. 1844) is decorated with a carving of swagged drapery. In the past I have suggested that “swagged drapes can been seen as creating the opening through which the soul passes in making the transition to the next life.”


DR. WM. F. KING,
DIED APRIL THE 11TH 1844
AGED 30 YEARS 11 MONTHS
AND 5 DAYS.
My glass is run my grave you see
In time prepare to follow me.
Go home dear friends dry up your tears,
I must lie here till Christ appears.
And when he comes I hope to rise:
Unto a life that never dies.
Standing in the cemetery, looking upon Dr. King’s gravestone, I see something more than drapery. Because the opening framed by the drapery is empty (often you would see an urn or flowers), I see an empty stage.

Wouldn’t that be an apt, even if unintentional, metaphor for death? Exit Stage Left.

Bigelow Cemetery Prairie State Nature Preserve

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