What caught my eye in the cemetery were the amorphous islands of lichen half covering a carved gravestone, a chaotic balance of light outlines against a dark background. Then, with prolonged looking, I see a process of generation, how the lichen colonies begin with single spots that then spread. And what does the carving say? “Memento mori” — “Remember you will die.” In a few years, these words and the winged scull carved below them will be covered by lichen, themselves dead to sight. In time, even this photo that has stopped time will itself vanish, as will all memory of it. Yet hope persists. Do we not say to Death, “Remember you will die.”

Photo of lichen on gravestone in Rockingham Meetinghouse cemetery, Vermont.
Photo and prayer copyright 2019 by Danny N. Schweers.

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An archipelago on a tombstone. Lovely!
--TC Davis, President, Interfaith Veterans Group

Profound. Especially for a preservation nut, such as I.
--Hugh Phibbs, Preservation Consultant

Good stuff, Danny!
--Brent Bill, Quaker Author

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