Memento Quod Vivitis

The longtime artistic tradition of the ‘memento mori‘ has always appealed to me. I think it’s valuable to recognize our mortality and the limitations of our time on this plane to devote to earthly enjoyments, the better to value them fully. Not to mention that I love skeletons and a lot of that stuff so often used symbolically in these works. I’m not disheartened, horrified, or unsettled by death and the subjects surrounding it, under everyday circumstances, in the way that some people illustration from a photoThe main thing is, I think it’s even more important to (as my guesswork-Latin post title suggests) remember that you’re alive. It’s not enough motivation to live a full, meaningful, rich, purposeful life just to know that you’re going to kick the bucket one day; everybody knows that, and it’s probably not even a majority of our kind that actually give serious thought to being fully present in their lives and making the most of their life spans. I know for certain that I haven’t always been especially good at such things.photoSo I’m rather happy to have an eye-opening, soul-tweaking glimpse of my little collection of death-defying totems, kept in view around my home and work spaces, at any moment when they happen to some into my field of vision. Not a bad way to refocus me and make me feel especially alive.

9 thoughts on “Memento Quod Vivitis

    • 😉
      I got some of the tools from Gramps when I followed him into the family construction business between college and grad school. The others I bought from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore because the driver shanks were too loose from the handles, the hinge of the tin snips dysfunctional, and so forth, so they were no longer useful for carpentry but still beautiful as artifacts. I am incredibly fond of beautiful vintage hand tools for the history they hold.

    • It’s a plastic model I bought for 50 cents from a garage sale when I started teaching college drawing classes. The teeth were straight enough, but at least one was already missing when I bought the thing. I did a few little repairs to the rest of it and painted it to make it presentable and useable for life drawing practice. Kept it around afterward, since as a skeleton lover I’d of course developed a crush on ‘him’ by then. 😉

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