Archive for November 11th, 2020

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

And such a weary world it is.

It’s Veteran’s Day 2020. My sister and I visited Woodlawn National Cemetery in our hometown where my parents are buried along with my grandfathers, uncles and assorted other relatives. It’s a lovely spot that holds over 11,000 veteran graves including a sizeable contingent of Confederate troops who died as inmates in the Elmira prisoner-of-war camp during the Civil War.

I am always moved by the sight of the symmetry and starkness of the lines of the white marble stones there. There’s an inherent symbolism contained in them. To me, they’re like the heads of candles lit against the lush green of the grass.

As always, I try to read a number of the names when I wander through the stones. Some are familiar local names, some of folks that I have known or known of. But most, of course, are unknown to me.

They all served their country in some way. Some, no doubt, performed courageous and heroic deeds while others served in other ways. But beyond that, I wonder about their lives after their service, their legacies, the memory of them that remains with their families.

What light did these candles shine?

No answers for that, really. Just a question that I ask myself in cemeteries.

Anyway, I am sharing this thought fragment along with the painting at the top, Finally, Light, which I recently took to the West End Gallery. It’s another older piece, from 2008, that has been hanging in my studio for well over a decade now. It’s a piece that I have tight to for some time for reasons I can’t determine. Whenever I was gathering work to take to a gallery I would always decide that I wanted to keep this piece when I came to it.

I am pairing it with Morning Song, a lovely tune from the Avett Brothers. Enjoy and have a good day. Try to spend a moment remembering a veteran you might have known.

Let their candlelight shine a bit.

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