Friday, April 5, 2013

Memento Mori ...

Via The Goblin Market This particular memento is a watch. How appropriate. And grim. 
From the Oxford English Dictionary:  Memento Mori: A warning or reminder of the inevitability of death, esp. a skull or other symbolic object. Later sometimes in weakened use: any grim, ominous, or sobering symbol.
Most of us don't like to be reminded about the oncoming tide on a daily basis. The awfully big adventure that might be our end. I don't either, particularly. Nonetheless, I can't help but to think at least a few times a day about how my time on this great giant ball is limited. That I should enjoy each and every moment rather than frittering them away with complaints, daydreams, and regrets. 

Thus, I don't see memento mori as morbid or, to be more blunt, scary ... necessarily. They remind us to live it up while we have the chance. That's why I keep a black skull covered with glitter on my desk. It may remind me of the end, but that the middle should be full of pizzazz (I really like that word. Pizzazz). 

I also keep memento mori of a different sort. Things my family members, now passed on, possessed that were important to them. My grandmother's bottle of perfume, for example. Still full. When I was reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, I was struck by the passage in which she wrote about her grandmother's favorite bottle of perfume, also full, which symbolized to her that, rather than saving the things that we love, we should indulge in them. That allowing ourselves to indulge more often than not in earthly pleasures of this sort is essential to our happiness, and makes us, in the long run, better people. Nicer. Kinder. More patient. My grandmother's full bottle of perfume reminds me that I shouldn't save things up for a better day. That the better day is here and now. Not tomorrow. Or tomorrow. Or tomorrow. 

Have a decadent weekend;). Wear that perfume. You know you want to. ~Alice
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