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Joli's Journal


Joli's Journal

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9 entries this month
 

Memento Mori - Photography and Loss in the 19th century

22:19 Apr 25 2008
Times Read: 784


I want this warning to be very clear for those of you who might be disturbed by the link that follows. It contains postmortem photographs of loved ones, often young children and babies.

"Blessed be the inventor of photography! I set him above even the inventor of chloroform! It has given more positive pleasure to poor suffering humanity than anything else that has cast up in my time or is like to -- this art by which even the poor can possess themselves of tolerable likenesses of their absent dear ones."


from a letter by Jane Welsh Carlyle, 1860



The images are haunting and tragically beautiful to me, while also being, as my friend worded it, "disquieting." I agree, I am disquieted, but imagine living in a time when photography was available but expensive and inconvenient. You might well put off such an endeavor in favor of more pressing life needs.


Now imagine the loss of someone you love, perhaps someone you have no image of. For grieving families, this was often their only way to hold onto that child or beloved family member. They were still able to gaze on a dear face, no matter the sad circumstances.


If you find that you can click on the link, that can look, you may find it difficult to look away. The faces of those left behind and the objects in the photographs are as gripping to me as the intended subjects. There is no denying the human response to these images. I am, in my way, glad that this is not really "in fashion" any longer. But that these are left to us and that they have a story to tell is undeniable. I'd love your thoughts on the topic.

Caution! You may find these images to be disquieting. They are the respectfully clothed and posed dead, photographed for the sake of remembering them. There are children and infants pictured.

Images of the Dead ca. 1800

COMMENTS

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TheHellequin
TheHellequin
22:38 Apr 25 2008

ah you edited as I was making a comment lol



I have come across these before. Much of it was practical as the process took so long that the best way to get someone still for long enough was when they were dead. As the novelty of photography wore off and the process became quicker thus these died away (cough)



I have an ancestor who was a photographer in the early days but not come across any work of his of this nature (yet)





Joli
Joli
22:49 Apr 25 2008

Yeah, I read that aspect of it, too. It just seemed like that couldn't have been a REASON. Maybe a positive outcome, but surely not, "Ol' figity Jim's dead...finally gonna get that snapshot I've been wanting."





Morrigon
Morrigon
22:49 Apr 25 2008

Very powerful, haunting and fascinating images. Thank you for sharing these with us...





imagesinwords
imagesinwords
23:08 Apr 25 2008

I have seen similar photos. People need any last momentos. I understand that. I keep some of my sister's clothes in my closet, and wear them sometimes. I know it's not the same, but I also carried a photo of my father in the casket for many, many years. It was the last picture above ground.





birra
birra
01:02 Apr 26 2008

I don't find them nearly as disquieting as the constant, never changing photographs of Cherokee and Domina_Martyrium....





captainglobehead
captainglobehead
05:55 Apr 26 2008

You have a habit of pointing out points of interesting and beauty where I didn't know to look.





Sinora
Sinora
16:47 Apr 26 2008

I did'nt look at the link.



About 15 years ago I worked with a lady whose first child was stillborn.



She had a picture of her dressed in baby clothes as if she were alive but sleeping.



Personally I don't find any beauty in it, but each to their own.





 

"Let your gentleness be evident to all."

22:14 Apr 22 2008
Times Read: 841





"...Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Phil:4

COMMENTS

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Ockham
Ockham
04:34 Apr 23 2008

.. But I find thinking about that which is not excellent and mocking the hell out of it to be more fun..





Joli
Joli
04:59 Apr 23 2008

You talk the good talk, but I know your heart, Ockham.





BLOODLIFE
BLOODLIFE
10:23 Apr 23 2008

...and ''Amen'' to that.





 

Sublime Night

05:50 Apr 18 2008
Times Read: 908


The other night, we read poems from India...vedic to modern. It was beautiful and peaceful to share that time with someone who cares about the beauty of language and mankind's everlasting quest to capture the indescribable with words.


This one was my favorite of the night. It is by Sri Chinmoy Kumar Ghose who died last year at the age of 76. Spiritual themes, especially the concept of transcendental consciousness, are common to the poetry of India.



The Absolute


No mind, no form, I only exist;

Now ceased all will and thought;

The final end of Nature's dance,

I am it whom I have sought.


A realm of Bliss bare, ultimate;

Beyond both knower and known;

A rest immense I enjoy at last;

I face the One alone.


By: Sri Chinmoy



COMMENTS

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Sinora
Sinora
06:41 Apr 18 2008

Beautiful.





Angelus
Angelus
16:29 Apr 18 2008

thanks lass, cool piece.





Genesis
Genesis
22:38 Apr 18 2008

That is beautiful. I enjoyed that poem a lot.





meeper
meeper
23:42 Apr 18 2008

It is a very beautiful, reflective piece.





STABB666
STABB666
00:21 Apr 19 2008

Indeed, it is sublime to fall into sleep with those words, breathed into my mind from your precious voice.






 

The Face of Humility

21:05 Apr 14 2008
Times Read: 941


I received this today after confirming that a donation to the Center had reached us. This is a VR member who had asked me if they could make a donation. We did receive it and I said thank you.


Simple, heartfelt sentiments like this inspire me. I WILL thank you, over and over, because you make a difference. That good feeling you describe...that's the result of grace...giving freely, not requiring someone to earn it, loving people, and being merciful. I'm grateful for you.

"Oh, ok great.:)

And you are more than welcome Joli...keep going with this good thing you do.


I will send when I can what I can..it will never be all that much I'm afraid.

And please,it isn't generous of me, it's selfish..because it has made me feel very good inside..Thank you for that.


Ok,well, you take care ...I was just checkin.

Talk again perhaps one day. :)"


COMMENTS

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Angelus
Angelus
22:27 Apr 14 2008

see? 'selfish'.. someone understands why I do voluntary work.. luvvit.





meeper
meeper
22:31 Apr 14 2008

There is a part of us all that seek out ways to give back- to show our appreciation for the blessing we have and the responsibility we have to one another.





 

PRIVATE ENTRY

05:46 Apr 10 2008
Times Read: 967


• • • • PRIVATE JOURNAL ENTRY • • • •


 

Snark snarketty snark snark

21:04 Apr 09 2008
Times Read: 1,011


My goofy friend messaged me, citing from the web site what we are unable to use at the Center as far as donations, and then pushed my buttons (in a funny way.) Honestly, you wouldn't believe how bad this gets. People actually "donate" dirty underwear, broken glass, and things you'd think I made up. Remind me some day to share the day we received the donated snake:


goofy friend: What We Are Unable To Use:

Mattresses. Furniture. Computer equipment. Cellphones. Broken items. Out of season clothing. VHS tapes. Damaged/stained clothing and linens. Mismatched shoes.


goofy friend: Sure.. so I'm sending you computer equipment... can I send you my old mismatched shoes too?


Joli: Sure everyone else does. In fact, if you could put them right UNDER the sign saying we don't accept them...wait, hold the presses...even better...make sure they are both for the same foot. We get so VERY excited by the donation of ONE shoe...We think, "thank you, unknown donor...surely we will get in a one-legged client and miracle of miracles, he will need the LEFT shoe in a size 9 1/2"


goofy friend: *laughing emoticon* crazy world we live in


COMMENTS

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Sinora
Sinora
21:12 Apr 09 2008

Best to be prepared just in case lol





Joli
Joli
21:18 Apr 09 2008

Prepared for a sudden need for broken glass, dirty underwear, and one shoe?





STABB666
STABB666
22:01 Apr 09 2008

I could use those for the Forum. Heh..



>:)





Joli
Joli
22:03 Apr 09 2008

We actually have to PAY someone to cart the "helpful donations" off to the dump. Old ratty mattresses, stinky couches, dirty clothes, broken things, etc... Does the forum have a truck? I would happily load it!





birra
birra
04:53 Apr 10 2008

You do have some goofy friends alright...



...so, the city mission here takes in old cars as donations, fixes them up and sells them cheap.



Perhaps you should start asking for vehicle donations... you might get that truck you want.





Irony
Irony
09:16 Apr 13 2008

Hmm I am intrigued, why the ban on cellphones and computer equipment? I get a new free cellphone every year and they tend to be really decent ones. Never occurred to me that they couldn't be given away.





 

PRIVATE ENTRY

23:03 Apr 05 2008
Times Read: 1,060


• • • • PRIVATE JOURNAL ENTRY • • • •


 

"t'is an unweeded garden grown to seed..."

20:18 Apr 05 2008
Times Read: 1,099


Last January/February, a long-term relationship in my life ended. I wasn't very public about it, but when I look through my journal, I feel again all the pulling places that had me in their grips during that time.


It may surprise a few of you to know that it is difficult for me to be openly personal here. I am more likely in the event of a cut to wipe up the blood and then write about what cleaning means to me. (That admission made me laugh a little at myself, which is always good.)


When he left, I doubted Universal Constants. The world was not the same world I had awakened to every day before; it had become something of a stranger to me. So sure of his character I was, that the laws of nature even came under suspect.


I had a lot of work before me. I had to re-nurture myself. Fortunately, I had cultivated a beautiful life over the course of a lifetime. I had the job of my dreams, friends, a crazy-supportive family, church, and community. My feet were at least on solid, fertile ground.


And I had this journal...and so, I had you. You were the outlet for my struggles and the vehicle for my creativity. You continue to be. Never underestimate your value to me. And where you invest yourself with passion, seedlings of hope unfailingly appear. I made a few dear friends.


The garden metaphor is on my mind now. Because I could not bear the task of working my garden last year through my aches and struggles, it has become overgrown. I watched through the window while it deteriortated from my own neglect, and while it made me sad, I did nothing. I think it reflected back to me my own pain.


I knew my sun...I am a woman of faith. I knew the source of my rain...my children, friends, family, and solid, honest hard work. But I felt like a beautiful garden, choking with weeds, and expected to grow and bloom anyway, dammit.


I walked through my garden this morning and remembered that while he may have mowed the grass and handed me a rake, I was the gardener all along. It was I who layed the garden hose out and marked where my rows would be. I was the one who chose the flowers, fruit trees, herbs, and perrenials, then carefully dug the home for their roots, and planted them in the earth with my own hands.


This was my sanctuary, just as I had been the refuge he once delighted in. I tended the soil, watered, and mulched. I even planted my own whimsy there...hidden fairies, brightly painted Mexican pot, squirrel ferris wheel, bird bath, things I hand-painted, etc... I love surprises in my life, and if you look carefully in any direction in my garden, you will find them there.


I'm going out there right now to begin the hard sweet labor of reclaiming my garden. I don't know why the tears are hot and stinging now. I think I feel a sense of exhaled relief. We both have permission to be beautiful and bloom again.


Nobody who ever looks at my garden and appreciates its lazy lovliness or how I planted it for fragrance with roses, sweet olive, gardenia, and jasmine will ever know it and love it like I do. I have been in its dirt, killed its bugs, protected its fruit, and sung to it at dusk. We are going to be fine.


COMMENTS

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captainglobehead
captainglobehead
20:58 Apr 05 2008

I can only thank you for allowing us to walk through and appreciate your garden.





Oceanne
Oceanne
20:59 Apr 05 2008

Oh my..my two favs of all time."gardenia, and jasmine"

And orange or lemon blossoms on a warm breeze at night.



Yours sounds like a perfect garden to me.





queenmorbid
queenmorbid
21:23 Apr 05 2008

I bet it is truly beautiful, Joli. I hope you take pictures when you are finished with it. And just remember, not only will it be beautiful, but you and your children are beautiful as well, and you have a quiet strength in you that many people do not realize you have, and that is the true treasure.





BLOODLIFE
BLOODLIFE
10:59 Apr 06 2008

''We sow what we reap'' has never been so poignant as is this entry you make.





Sevenn
Sevenn
18:12 Apr 06 2008

The snake that cannot shed its own skin perishes. Gardening is honest work.





Angelus
Angelus
00:37 Apr 07 2008

..enjoy the garden, my friend.





 

Through Tears and Sadness... Hope

22:26 Apr 02 2008
Times Read: 1,228


To Birra


"It is just... sad... the world we live in is just... sad."


And also beautiful and poignant. Our world is made up of both. The people who lost their lives were moms, dads, daughters, and sons. They are remembered by loving people who make that memorial a living testimony. There are hearts like yours which care. It's our job to be the best people we can, to stand up where wickedness rears up and not to lose heart or fail to see the great potential that also lives inside of humanity where it is nurtured.


As much as I worry for our world, I am heartened by the people of great heart who also populate it. In my line of work, I see every day the people who make it their business to step up where there is iniquity, harm, poverty, neglect, and suffering. I have seen YOU be one of these people, not only with your eyes, words, and camera lens, but with your hands, heart, and wallet.


When the world makes me cry, I think of you, Birra. I think of all the people who ask, "What can I do? How can I help?" You help me wake up in the morning. You help me work through another day without feeling that it is all too big...too hard. I need to know that you are all out there, walking on the same earth as me, that I'm never alone in wanting to instill a little hope and peace where I can. We're a team...and we are "the world we live in."


** This is a response to a journal entry made by Birra, one of the most awesome people here and my very dear friend. You can read it here: April 2 - Tales From Gate 6


COMMENTS

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birra
birra
18:07 Apr 03 2008

And you, my dear friend... you have a beautiful heart. You give of yourself endlessly in life. It is friends like you who inspire me that the world can be worthwhile and I should try harder to be a good person.



Thank you for being the wonderful person so many people have had the priviledge to call a friend.



You are loved and appreciated.








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