Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pauper's Field

Key West has a habit if taking care of it's own, alive or dead. In life the wretched and poor and mentally ill get food and shelter (if they want it) and in death the Reverend Steve Braddock holds a funeral service for the forgotten dead in a corner of the cemetery reserved for the impoverished. He did it  51  times in 2012 according to the Key West  Citizen. It is a left over from pre-industrial society when villagers treated the dead with respect in a world seen as God's creation. A world where dogs have no souls and no place in spaces reserved for those religious events of births, marriages and deaths.
Cheyenne and I were fine on Olivia Street outside the fence, looking in and wondering about those small rectangles of memory. It said "look it up" so I did, thanking the 21st century for Google!
From Robert Heinlein's novel Stranger In A Strange Land:
Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.

Surely this is another of those "only in Key West" spaces, a place where the homeless get to write their own epitaphs and whose epitaphs are cleverer and more literate and more thought provoking than those of the middle class dead celebrated widely in the tedious "guide" books.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Drink deep and never be thirsty