|First spotted on Farrell & Baristo at 4 am in Palm Springs|
There are the potty walks about the condo complex and there is the walk, a 30 - 45 minute walk I have dubbed the WPP (walk, poop and potty). How do I know its time? Well, first there is the stare. Then she gets closer smiling and bumping me. When that fails a paw touches my knee over and over again until I get up.
On one of the routes we take there is a memorial to someone on the corner of Baristo and Farrell here in Palm Springs. I assume that someone died in an accident but it been there for several months and includes solar lights that glow when we take our now infamous 4 am walks through the dark desert landscape. Seeing it that first time made me pause and begin to remember how humans remember the past, loved ones, success in war, success of the heart.
|The evolving memorial in daylight.|
On a sad note though, today when we walked past during a glorious sunrise, the memorial was gone. Only a few pieces remained scattered across the empty land.
Why are memorials so important to us? What do they signify? I began to notice shrines appearing in our neighborhood when more and more Asians, many from Viet Nam or China placed them on the ubiquitous fireplaces that every one of the houses had on our street. In the early morning glow you would see red electric lights on a mysterious, to Western eyes, shrine that had little statues, fruit and the ever glowing red lights.
|Like Shelly's "Ozymandias", nothing besides remains|
|Home Buddhist Shrinemore intimate and immediate!|
|Memorial Flowers for Princess Di|
Suddenly it became okay for people to create scenes such as this in memory of those that passed ... for whatever reason.
|Road Side Memorials are |
Who has not driven along the a highway and not witnessed a scene such as this? In passing you have to wonder what happened, what tragedy was here that caused loved ones and others to return to pay their respect? As we scurry by, I am sure that more than a few of us hope that such a need will not be required for us. Do we slow down just a little? Do we watch the road a bit more carefully? Do we think of those that died here?
|Entrance into Jerash, Jordan|
|Memorial to those who perished in the OKC bombing|
To not be moved by the serenity of the scene and realize the enormity of the building, the site is in the footprint of the original building, you have to gasp. 168 people died. There is a chair for each and every one, large for adults, small for children, with a light underneath and during our visit a small American flag alongside each chair. The site is marked at each end with a marker that tells the time it started and the time it ended. I cried. Only a minute had passed.
Across the street, the parsonage of the old Methodist Church was also destroyed. In its place is a stature of Christ, hands covering his face, crying. The inscription reads simply, "Jesus wept."
|The 9 / 11 Memorial in New York City|
There are many monuments and traditions that cover the world ... all designed by men and women that remind us of what has been. To forget them, is to then relive these same events or as the great
Spanish philosopher Santayana said, "Those that forget history are doomed to relive it." Is that what we really want?
|Oakland, CA rave fire memorial|
So to all those people out there that hated and often flunked history, there is a lesson in all of this. Start remembering and stop making the same mistakes over and over again.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please, take the time to read earlier blogs where the emphasis here and always is to explore the ways design and art affects our lives ... and always has.