Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Nietzsche Family Circus

Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him.

The Nietzsche Family Circus Generator matches a Family Circus image with a random Nietzsche quote.



there’s an almost perfectly round rock on my desk
where did it come from? how did it get here?

once my doctor told me that I had a ‘floating testicle’
then it went missing; they searched for it but it was gone

some stanzas have two lines; this one has one

what should we expect from the world?
humour, meaning, kindness, the retrieval of lost balls?

all night I wished to write a great poem
all night the world wanted me to write it

so I did.

Yesterday, we went to my wife's grandparents' grave yesterday. My wife's grandmother died last month while we were in Europe. We put the above-mentioned little round rock on her grave. One of my sons put a special quartz-lined rock that he picked up when we were touring the Roman Forum. It was moving, not only to see the graves of my wife's grandparents, but to wander around the little Jewish cemetery across the street from the mall. Beth and I knew or knew of many people there. Her old allergy doctor, the wife of the Rabbi who married us, a friend of her father's. Also graves going back to 1865 with no one left to place a stone down for them. Beth and Aaron placed stones for these people.

Somehow all these people and us intersected at this particular moment in spacetime. A small gathering on the edge of Hamilton, some of us happened to be alive at that moment, some not.

We read the inscriptions. Many alluded to some quality of the person, of relationships with friends, family, and -- sometimes -- their professional life. Some included a saying that the person might have used. "Glad to be Seen." Some inscriptions were evidently written from a husband to a wife before he died, and then, he took his place beside her some years later. A few included a small stone memorializing other family who died in the Holocaust and, I assume -- had no proper grave, or no proper grave with family and community. Older graves of children were sometimes in the form of a marble cut down tree. Double graves for husbands and wives. (The man always on the left.)

Not only have I found myself living my life where these people did, but, like them, I am connected through relationships with family, friends, community, place, generations, history.

I was surprised to find myself in this little forest of community, a community that I was surprised to find myself connected to, standing there with my wife and children in this small unassuming field surrounded by trees two hundred metres from the highway.

No comments: