By Bernard Brand
By Bernard Brand

I collect skulls, the one above is from a friend of mine it was made by Friday Gibu from the Bronze Age Foundry.

When people come into our home, they often ask if I or we have an obsession with death? The answer is, I don’t and that is exactly the problem.

I want to live forever.

We all believe that we will live forever, at least you think that before you are 40 or 50 :). We live in a culture where we hardly have to deal with death, well not directly at least, we don’t dig family graves anymore, we do not handle the bodies of deceased loved ones. All of that has been outsourced.

Our culture worship youth and every mosturiser commercial tells you, that you will never have to look old. The magic 3D animation shows how the tiny beads pushes out wrinkles to make you look 14 again.

Sure.

Memento Mori, ‘Remember, you will die.’

Picture
Frans Hals, A Portrait of a Young Man holding a skull, 1615.
Memento Mori means, Remember that you will die. It has been a practice to place Memento Mori art and objects in your home for centuries across many cultures and many religions.

They are a constant reminder that you are indeed not immortal, and that your time is limited.

I need that reminder, so I asked my friend Bernard Brand, a great photographer, to  help me create my own Memento Mori. It’s loosely based on the painting by Frans Hals, A Portrait of a Young Man holding a skull, 1615.

Get up, Keep going.

My skulls, and my Memento Mori portrait reminds me to live well. To be happy, to enjoy my work, my family, my city. It reminds be to be a better person, to live morally and be kind.

It reminds me that I have limited time, that I have something to add to this world and that I better add it before it is too late.

In a society obsessed with youth and immortality, contemplating your own death every once in a while is probably the best thing you can do.

live now.

Your Turn

What reminders to you in your life to be present, to live for the moment?