We all have our crosses to bear. Kerry Trotter's latest (and most overblown) can be found on her left leg. In pregnancy, every day becomes a new lesson in love, acceptance, peace, panic and, today, mortality. She explains how she came to understand memento mori.
It was all going as planned.
Scratch that, better than planned.
At about 20 weeks into my pregnancy, I was feeling wonderful, our newly identified baby girl was growing mightily, I was healthy, family was happy, my hand-me-down maternity wardrobe was lending me some fashionable flexibility — the partum world was a wonderful, carefree place for ol’ Ker.
Then I saw it.
Flitting about our house feeling effortlessly pulled together in my belted sundress, I happened to cast my eyes downward and spotted something on my left calf that injected a thunderbolt of terror into my heart. I froze then bent down to get a closer look. Is that … what I think it is?...
Father Damian Ference has added a new record to his collection: Leonard Cohen's recently released Old Ideas. His review of the album yielded 4.5 out of 5 stars, and he explains why, today on the WOF Blog.
An old friend called the other day to tell me that he bought Leonard Cohen’s new record, Old Ideas. I asked him what he thought. He said, “It sounds a lot like what Johnny Cash was doing on his last albums.” My friend isn’t the religious type, so he didn’t specifically mention the themes of sorrow, suffering, death, healing, redemption, and mercy, but I knew exactly what he was getting at. I told him, “Well, Cohen is pushing eighty, so that’s what’s on his mind.” He agreed.
Mortality has always been a major theme of Cohen’s work, along with God, love, faith, sex, sacrifice, longing, heartache, and hope. And it makes sense that Cohen entitled his latest effort Old Ideas, because he has been writing about these ideas for over fifty years, so there isn’t much new here, except for the fact that now, Cohen seems more comfortable than ever dealing with them. Of course, these ideas are much older than him – these are the ideas that are at the very heart of the human experience – they are the ideas that, once distractions are removed, demand all of our attention...
There is a leitmotiv that occurs time and again in Western Art at least since the middle ages that is called “memento mori.” The memento mori (Latin for "remember death") is an artistic or literary reminder of human mortality and the evanescent quality of all finite things. Remembering the inevitability of death has the potential to properly situate and order the dispositions and desires of one’s life. We learn from the fragility of life what is genuinely important. In terms of Christian spirituality, the practice of calling to mind one’s mortality can instill in one a greater hope for heaven and deepen one’s awareness of the necessity of Christ’s saving grace...