Kimberly C. Paul’s Death By Design podcast showcases interviews with deathcare specialists, artists, authors and others working in the end-of-life sphere: REMEMBER, YOU’RE THE DESIGNER. We must become the designer of our own destination. We must learn how to build the pathways to our last chapter by creating the blueprints that reflect our individual lives … Read more“Death by Design” Podcast
By Tony Wolf I recently took part in the month-long online course Make Your Own Memento Mori: Befriending Death with Art, History and the Imagination, which was organized and taught by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein. This course combines extensive and fascinating weekly readings and viewings, lectures, discussions, art and writing prompts and so-on, towards a “final project” of each … Read moreThe Flowerskull Mask: A Thanatopositive Art Project
Social philosopher Alain De Botton’s essential argument is stated in his final line – “Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be left to the religious alone”. The first two-thirds of “Religion for Atheists” demonstrate the strength of that position via examples drawn from many spheres, persuading the reader how – having been, … Read more“Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion”
There was a wind blowing through the zeitgeist of the 1970s, here elegized in the classic folk-rock ballad by Kansas.
Here’s author/photographer Geoff Dyer’s meditation on the ghost bike street memorial phenomenon: As well as being part of a web of activist organizations, the ghost bikes can be seen in the context of the ad hoc accumulation of street art generally, from loutish graffiti litter to Banksy’s ironic—now ironically iconic and commodified—stencils, to community-based murals. … Read more“What Will Survive of Us”
NPR offers this survey of how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the funerary rites of a variety of religions: The World Health Organization in its March 24 guidance on burials of COVID-19 victims says dead bodies are generally not infectious. But its recommendations that relatives not touch or kiss the body and government rules on social distancing … Read more“Coronavirus Is Changing The Rituals Of Death For Many Religions”
Eva Aridjis’ 2007 documentary is available for rent or purchase via Vimeo. In more recent years the cult of Santa Muerte has spread beyond Mexico and is now considered one of the fastest-growing new religious movements in the world.
By Tony Wolf Since the late 1990s I’ve been sporadically developing a philosophically rational, ecologically sound and communally festive approach to mortality, inspired by the motto memento mori ergo carpe diem – “remember death and therefore seize the day”. My interpretation of carpe diem encompasses Epicureanism as well as the perspective that a meaningful life … Read moreFlower Skull Marottes
I first came across this memorial during one of my evening walks, shortly after it was first created. I’ve added a few little things – some pine cones, a sketch outline of an open hand with the initials “BLM” – and it’s nice to see how others are augmenting and re-arranging the memorial day-to-day. Here’s … Read moreBlack Lives Matter Community Memorial Altar in Rogers Park, Chicago
Between the Renaissance Faire Danse Macabre, the Self Help Graphics art center’s influence on the Dia de Muertos and the Grateful Dead, there seems to have been a wind blowing darkly colorful leaves through the countercultural zeitgeist of the 1970s. Here’s the BOC live in 1977: … and in this short video essay, the Polyphonic … Read moreThanatopositive Classic Rock: Inside Blue Öyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”