Wednesday, February 1, 2012

the cemetery

Seth is buried at the cemetery of a monastery in the high desert just north of Los Angeles.  The grave markers are very plain, just cement crosses, with stones imbedded into the cement at each of the four arms of the cross.  There are no buildings, no flowers planted, no watering system at all; the site is completely unenhanced.  That is its beauty: a rough and prickly beauty.  When we attempted to put painted stones in a decorative design around Seth's cross, they were removed, and we were told that there was a county rule that this sort of cemetery was to be kept "wild".  Our painted stones were, however nicely placed on the horizontal surfaces of the cross. 

Other graves also have remembrances from the family of the deceased on them.  Looking at the various mementoes on the various graves, what distinguishes those on Seth's grave is that they are all jolly, colorful tributes, not to Seth, but to Life.  None of our rocks say, "We miss you" or "we love you" (though we do).  Pictures of sea creatures, multicolored dots, flowers, the Sun, faces; that is what is painted on the rocks.  I realized that part of Seth's legacy to all of his family is that it is important to take what you have in front of you and use it to make something that delights you.  Delight in what is here and now. 

A lot of things that someone tries to teach, you don't really get, but the rocks on his grave show me that at least in this place, we GOT it.  Thank you Seth.  


j_ay said...

Very nice.
Also, did you do your painting on-location of later do it from memory?

Vicki said...

on location. I forgot to bring a camera, but I did bring a little moleskine watercolor book, and a teeny tiny paint box.
Some day I may learn to look well enough to do scenery from memory, but not yet.