We are that which we are. Rocks and water and coal and iron and silt that somehow, through some miracle of life, think and see ourselves, and who somehow mostly manage to think that it will go one forever. We forget that we are mortal, until it slaps us on the head.
There is nothing to slap our mortal foreheads like the sight of a head-stone, and the reminder that people who once were in our lives are forgotten and gone, but that they were once there.
On Mum’s request we visited Ellie’s grave today. Mum wanted to make sure it hadn’t been washed out to sea during the floods over Christmas and in January. We would have gone earlier, but things always got in the way, until the point where Mum’s begging took on an angry note.
So, today after school we loaded the car with ourselves, and we drove the short miles over the border to Sussex, and then we spent some time staring at the headstone.
I cleaned the grave a bit, snapped a photograph, and sent it to mum so that she would see for herself that we’d been there and that the grave was all right. It hadn’t been destroyed, and all that had happened to it was the usual wear and tear that happens. Flowers wilt, grass grow, and entropy breaks the order.
As always, the thing leaves me in a funny mood, and I think that we are that which we are. The rocks and land that walk and think, disguised as hairless monkeys who are too full of ourselves, and who forget that essence. We are the matter that observe itself for a little while. And then, sooner or later, sometimes a lot sooner than expected like in Ellie’s case, we go back to being silt and coal and iron and water in the ground.