February 22, 2012

At the edge of the moraine



The chairs -- 185 of them, painted white -- look like they are awaiting the general resurrection of the dead. Empty seats for expected guests. Pictures by Christchurch City Libraries (from here). The installation at the Oxford Tce Baptist Church is by artist Peter Majendie.

Take the time to read this, this and this.

Two minutes of silence at 12.51pm, flowers in the river. Hundreds of flowers, thousands. "A roll call and then silence," said Catholic Bishop Barry Jones, on radio this morning. It is silent on the streets; when people phone, they sound subdued, cautious.

"I was just laying aside a Lausanne paper I'd bought in Zurich when my eye was caught by a report that said the remains of the Bernese alpine guide Johannes Naegeli, missing since summer 1914, had been released by the Oberaar glacier, 72 years later. And so they are ever returning to us, the dead. At times they come back from the ice more than seven decades later and are found at the edge of the moraine, a few polished bones and a pair of hobnailed boots." -- WG Sebald, from The Emigrants.

"Flower of wonder, flower of might: if I see thee on the other side, when I am dead, I’ll know there is an other side." -- Andrew Johnston, from "The Sunflower" (here).