The Buddha said the greatest of all teachings is impermanence. Its final expression is death. Buddhist teacher Judy Lief explains why our awareness of death is the secret of life. It’s the ultimate twist.
Whether we fight it, deny it, or accept it, we all have a relationship with death. Some people have few encounters with death as they are growing up, and it becomes personal for them only as they age and funerals begin to outnumber weddings. Others grow up in violent surroundings where sudden death is common, or see a family member die of a fatal illness. Many of us have never seen a person die, while people who work in hospitals and hospices see the realities of death and dying every day. But whether death is something distant for us or we are in the thick of it, it haunts and challenges us.
Legendary filmmaker Georges Méliès (December 8, 1861–January 21, 1938) said shortly before he passed away on this day, and after he had drawn a champagne bottle with the cork popped and bubbling over and shown it to his friends: “Laugh, my friends. Laugh with me, laugh for me, because I dream your dreams.” (more…)
French artist Jacques-Louis David (August 30, 1748–December 29, 1825) died on this day at age 77 in Brussels, Belgium. Considered the preeminent painter of his time and best known for his Neoclassical style, he was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1774; was elected to the Académie Royale in 1784; was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 1803; promoted to Officier in 1808; and in 1815 he was promoted to Commandant (now Commandeur) de la Légion d’honneur. (more…)
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde died this day November 30, 1900 at age 46 in Paris, France. The tomb of this brilliant essayist, eminent playwright, poet, and society wit in Père Lachaise Cemetery was designed by American sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein. Throughout the 1990s, the tomb became covered in lipstick kisses that were slowly destroying the porous limestone with each cleaning. The French and Irish governments came together and created a fund to restore the tomb, which is now behind a protective Plexiglas casing. (more…)
Los Angeles-based artist and writer Carolyn Campbell is paying tribute to the City of Immortals, the massive and visually astonishing Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Launched on November 2nd in time for All Souls Day, Campbell’s project is two-fold: an extensive, beautifully rendered online tribute to the cemetery, and a detailed, print map that features three tours including the resting places of the most celebrated spirits in the park. Both the writing and photography are hers. (more…)