Saying Good-bye – Moving On

Extremely moving video, especially if you have lost someone close to you or are caring for someone who is near the end of life.

Moving On

Walking down this road
When my pulse beats slow,
Hope to have you close at hand.
When this cycle ends,
Will it start again?
Will we recognize old friends?

I’m on my way,
Soon be moving on my way,
Leave a little light on,
Leave a little light on.
– James Lawrence Gott, James Patrick Glennie, Mark Hunter, Saul Davies, Timothy Booth

‘Moving On’  is a song from the album La Petite Mort by James – an English rock band from Manchester.

The song was inspired by the death of lead singer Tim Booth’s mother as well as the loss of his best friend, Gabrielle. Tim described these deaths as also feeling like a potential for rebirth.

The Video animator, Ainslie Henderson explained the motivation for the video: “Some days later this [death-rebirth] conversation echoes around my mind while I’m listening to ‘Moving On.’ I walk past a typical Scottish woollen knitwear shop. My eyes flit over a ball of wool in the window while the word ‘unwinding’ is sung.”

Video Credits:

Directed by ainslie henderson
Animation by ainslie henderson, Michael Hughes
Model Making by Tobias Feltus

Saying Goodbye to The Fisherman

I recently read the book “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty. It is a witty and thought provoking look at the history of caring for the dead and how the process has been sanitized by today’s funeral industry. The author explains the process of cremation in some detail – all very fascinating if you are interested in options to the ‘casket in the ground’ type of burial.

The Car Guy’s dad, The Fisherman, passed away in October 2017. The Fisherman was cremated. It was a good choice because a number of events, including the weather, made it preferable for us to hold a burial service the following June.

As the date for interment approached, our family discussed what kind of special box or urn we would use for the ashes. We decided that a wine bottle in a wood presentation box would be an excellent choice because The Fisherman had made his own wine for decades.

The Car Guy filled one wine bottle with ashes for the cemetery. With the remaining ashes, he filled several half bottles and three spice size jars.

A half bottle now sits on a shelf in The Car Guys Garage, a place where father and son had worked every Wednesday for many years building and fixing things, including  a Yellow Challenger T/A, a Corvette, and a Fargo half ton.

The spice jars were perfect for the ‘road trips’ where his ashes were scattered – at the farm where he was raised and two of his favourite fishing places.

As for the Cemetery Interment, we knew it was going to be a ‘do it yourself’ project because the cemetery was a very  rural, ‘old school’ sort of place that let you do that sort of thing. We also knew the ground was rock hard. But we didn’t need a very wide hole, so a post hold digger was the logical tool to use.

The Fisherman’s Daughter conducted the service, a lunch was served at a country hall, and a two day Family Reunion was held at a rural retreat – all were the perfect way to say good-bye to The Fisherman.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
-Doug Larson –

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book.

Twitter – What do you Seek?

Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site.

It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. I think we have more great stuff to read than we ever have before, but of course the downside of that is we have more great stuff to read than we’ve ever had before.
– Robin Sloan –

What do You Want to Seek?

The QuipperyThe Intellectual Dark Web is populated by a number of individuals who have been vilified by those who identify with a ‘different tribe’. One of the more controversial figures in recent years is the Canadian author, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto – Dr. Jordan Peterson. A lengthy but extremely interesting summary of his thoughts is presented in this video: Dr. Oz interviews Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Dr. Peterson has written several books, does podcasts, and lectures about the value of having an aim in life. He has become the self-help guru for many young people who find they are unprepared for the realities of an adult world. What is ironic, to me, is that this same sense of ‘aimlessness’ sometimes happens to older people when they retire. Free time isn’t so free feeling if you’ve got a lot of it, and you don’t know what to do with it.

OK, now write for 20 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. This isn’t a composition exercise. You get to have what you want three to five years down the road. What does your life look like, hypothetically? Write it out. That’s the first part. The second part of the exercise — now you’ve got your thing to aim at. You think, “well, now I’m motivated, because I got my thing to aim at.” It’s like, “you’re not as motivated as you could be, because you don’t yet have your thing to run away from. If you really want to be motivated, you want to be going somewhere, and you want to be NOT going somewhere else.”
– Jordan Peterson in a discussion with Lewis Howes

Once You Have Found It

Last stop is a book. I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. This book is, to me, the ultimate intersection of old-world handwork, Old Knowledge, books, digital technology, fantasy and a Codex Vitae (which is the capture of all you’ve learned throughout your life – Jordan Peterson’s ‘what does your life look like’.)

In the book, and in real life, a Codex is a printed book. ‘Mr. Penumbra’s’  fictional character, Griffo Gerritszoon, was the real life Francesco Griffo who was born in 1450. The book’s character Aldus Manutius  was a real life printer and publisher. Aldus commissioned Griffo to cut the first slanted italic type. Aldus also invented pocket editions of books with soft covers and normalized the use of punctuation. The books fictional fifteenth-century font called Gerritszoon is perhaps the font we call Garamond – Claude Garamond worked with Aldus Manutius and Francesco Griffo.

By the end of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore I had the answer to why, or what, ties me to blogging. This is my Codex Vitae – and I can only keep writing new chapters if  I am learning from all people, not just the ones that share my bias. I can only keep writing if I keep aiming for better and moving away from the person I don’t want to become.

How have you preserved a record of your life? Scrapbook? Calendars? Photo Album? Blog? Journal?