Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life, death, and bubbles in between

Yesterday I chatted about death, dying, and funeral photography. I celebrated end of life traditions and cultures that shape our memories with Golie, a stunning, intelligent PhD student who shares my curiosity of preserving moments of time, fragments of grief, and the beauty of the human spirit.
Calling into the bottle shop to buy a bottle of champagne to toast to our future King, the third in line, a baby in arms: “A bottle to wet the baby’s head” I exclaim, to the confusion of the young attendant and his mate.

‘What is it today with saying that?” he demands. “Everyone’s been saying that all day long, I don’t get it,” and clearly, he doesn’t. “It’s beautiful that so many of the community want to share this special day” I explain, “You don’t really wet the baby’s head, it’s just a saying,”  and I leave him clearly muddled.
It’s hard to pass on a generation of tradition if the kids are plugged into Ipods and earplugs. They aren’t interested and it’s a worrying trend. How can you ignore the past?
Once home I send my friend a dit. Come and share champers, wet the baby’s head!

Within five minutes she tramps up my stairs, flashing her trademark smile. “Thought we should wet the baby’s head” she says, explaining that her message bank service wasn’t working but she had a hunch I’d open champagne. How well she knows me.
A good day is when you celebrate life each day. A great day is when you can reflect equally on death, and the continuation of life and royalty, with bubbles.


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