Nothing lasts but a legacy useful to the living.
I cycled out to the villages outside of Colchester, coming upon a strange situation by the side of the road. A wood with graves, and no church. I entered the wood and saw the many grave markers, many hidden in the undergrowth and woodland, forgotten and unloved. From a creative point of view I enjoyed an opportunity to take metaphorical photographs on the subject of death and life, the supremacy of nature over humanity and on the subject of mortality.
The most recent of the graves dated 1904. The church had suffered fire and demolition perhaps a century before, the graveyard abandoned to nature. Sadly for all those buried in the graveyard there was nobody left in the locality that remembered or cared enough to tend their graves, the deceased abandoned and forgotten.
Death scares most people. Most people fear being alone or forgotten. Too many people live their lives out as a narcissistic Facebook profile. Many people need fame, to live forever, to never be forgotten. Most people, like those people in the graveyard, will when they die will vanish into obscurity, nobody will care, and no memory beyond some indifferent historical record will mark their passing.
I blinked, then time ate multiple years of my life. I know when I blink again, I will probably be remembering this blog post thirty years from now as I attend someone’s funeral, reflecting on my mortality. When I blink again, I will be dead, decomposing in some grave.
Sitting in my garden are ten acorn saplings in pots, my vision is that when I die a couple of great oak trees will live on to mark my anonymous legacy. It is the harsh reality we all shall die, and most of us will be forgotten a few decades after we die. The living rarely have time to remember or care about the deceased, since life demands their attention. The legacy that each of us can leave that will get us remembered is something useful to the living like planted oak trees, because nobody cares about Facebook profiles and grave markers hidden in forgotten graveyards.