Monday, July 26, 2010

there does, beyond desert, befall the first of themes etcetera, etcetera

melora creager is so up my little alley, it's not even funny. or i'm up hers. everything she does is exactly what i want to talk about all the time. i would like to inhabit the creepy, dingy, fascinating snowglobe she has erected around herself out of our fledgling past.


in which she explains herself.

lying around contemplating late 19thcentch homecrafts could take up a lot of my time.

this era is so flouncy and ridiculous at times, and too dreary at others. i don't like bustles or the soot-encrusted industrial boom. the angel in the house makes me want to kill myself and others. but, i love how 100% unabashedly morbid these people were. they didn't pump the brakes on this, ever. hair-weaving for wall art or jewelry. mourning jewelry everywhere. memorial photographs and art. bodies lying in state for a week in the front room. all of it. i love it! i think the first time i saw some memorial hair art was on tour of the governor's house in prescott. my skin crawled and i wanted to get away from it, but afterwards i couldn't stop thinking about it. that + gone with the wind + other period dramas + the rosson house + a house full of civil war memorabilia buried it deep.

vlah.

i worked in picture framing for years when i was younger. came to find that people are still morbid as all hell. shadowboxing the belongings and hair of dead people - you bet. put that over the dining room table. but the happiest days were when someone brought in something "ancient" and wanted it preserved. one guy brought in the letter and handkerchief of one of his ancestors. the letter was composed on her deathbed somewhere in late victoria. i could not resist and took it home that night to transcribe. the text is on one of my old livejournals and i will look for it later. it was absurd! such an incredible specimen! the long-suffering, aged beyond her years mother addresses each of her trillion children and steadfastly faces her death. oh! i found it.

in fact i will paste the whole post as a full-scale historic document. me at 20. ha; depeche mode.

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[31 Dec 2002|12:33am]
[music|depeche mode / blasphemous rumours]

I am still dying from tonsilitis and mulling over something I brought home from work today.

It took me 15 minutes to open this letter. Some moron had stuck the thing all together with (non-archival!) adhesive and nearly ruined it forever. It's from a shadowbox that I was pissed to have to work on until I found a few things of interest. Turns out the thing is a deathbed note, always interesting. Dated 1907:

"To my dear family;
As I can't rest, and now unless a change takes place soon, can't live, I will write you a few of my thoughts and wishes. Life is only momentary with me now, I am resigned. The lord's will be done, I know I am a child of god. I have no fear of death for if it is his wish to take me away, it is for some good purpose.
Don't go to any more expense than necessary to put me away. Save all for the living. I would like to have an Adventist preach my funeral. I don't care where you bury me, the lord will find me.
I commend you all to god, who is able to save. He will bless and lead you all in the right if you put your trust in him.
Mabel, Mack, Lloyd and Floyd, you are all young and I think you need a mother's care, but if it is the lord's will to take me away, he will provide a way for you. Give your hearts to Jesus while you are young, don't wait, for soon he is coming to gather up his jewels. Do watch and be ready. I want you all to meet me in the earth made new to part no more. My work is almost done, but there is a crown of righteousness laid up for me. Praise the lord for his goodness. My prayer is that you all will be good children.
Do the best you can, the older try to teach the younger, search the scripture and find what precious promises there are to the overcomer. Do not fret and worry about Mother but sing "Praise to the Lord" when I am gone.
Bidding you all fare-well 'til we meet to part no more. This is very near and dear to me.
God bless you all,
Your Mother.
Read tim 4 - 6:8 and eph 3 - 16:21"

Her handwriting is creepy and spidery and perfect.

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oh my god so incredible. what a great writer she was. so homespun, yet the words are well-chosen and artful. i am hard-pressed to find my favorite passage in this. i wish i had taken some photos of it. mabel, mack, lloyd and floyd!!

it was the height of ~romance~ when my boyfriend around this time bought me some mourning necklaces made of jet, all worn and weak and some amateurly repaired with crumbling thread. i don't dare wear them, still. not only do i not need the ghost of eugenia eustacia maybelle merriwether haunting me, but i'm also unwilling to repair them to a wearable state. you know what they say on antiques roadshow.




that's the best one.

5 comments:

mle jean said...

wow, that letter is awesome. what a great thing to cross your path. the roadshow comment, I watch it but missed that reference?

B said...

re: the roadshow comment, items that have been refurbished or even minorly repaired late in their age always sell for a lot less than if they had just been left alone. not that i think my necklaces are highly valuable. :) i just don't want to change them.

Fashion Serial Killer said...

Memento mori! I like to search mourning itmes on ebay. You can always find neat stuff that way..or even gutta percha..love it

mle jean said...

ah yes, that makes sense.

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