Photos of Beauty and Sadness

I happened across a blog this morning that features photos by David Maisel. The photos are of copper canisters that have begun reacting with their contents to form beautiful arrays of colors. What makes these photos and their subjects unique is what is reacting with the copper canisters – the ashes of unclaimed dead.

I just wasn’t sure how to categorize this post. The photos are beautiful, but sad at the same time. So this is something cool on the internet, but the subject matter is profound. Mr. Maisel took an array of photos from an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Oregon. The photos, including the canister photos, will be published in a book called Library of Dust. You can check out some of these photos on the BLDG Blog website.

I’ve thought about my own death to some extent and what I would like to happen afterwards. I am not a believer in an elaborate afterlife and therefore do not think death has to be a big ritual or ceremony. I believe in celebrating who the person was in life once they have passed. To that extent, my hope when I am gone is that those who knew me will remember the good and celebrate that rather than mourn my passing. I also want to be cremated rather than buried. Perhaps not stored in a copper canister… or maybe I should be, then I could become art in the afterlife…

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