Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Here Lies

I was looking at this picture that Kate Beaton posted and I realized the language of gravestones has changed as the world has become more secular.

The inscription reads, in part, "here lies the body of". The body and spirit were viewed as very separate things and the "clay" of the body that was buried didn't have much to do with the spirit that had inhabited. Hence here lies the body of, instead of here lies.

Then we moved much more to here lies and there a million joke tombstones people make for their Halloween decorations. The distinction between body and spirit is lessened. Here lies Mary Jacobs implies all of her is there, not just a cast off husk.

Modern tombstones don't even say here lies, in many cases. They just say things like Loving Mother and some dates.

Personally I like here lies the body of and my tombstone should say something like Here lies the body of Georgiana Lee - She cast it off and started a new life in a cyborg body.



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