One week ago, to the day, I was fast asleep in the TravelLodge Motel near Needham Market, Suffolk, with talk of a visit of to this tomb and the church that houses it, St. Mary the Virgin in Dennington (see previous post) in my dreams from the evening before.
So this photograph was yet to come, yet now it has passed, and emphatically so as I deal with what has been a frustrating day of automobile and financial disruptions. Nothing too serious, but enough to cause us to rejiggle our plans.
However, last week none of this was apparent and I was looking forward to the church visit and feeling the increasing pressure of the end of the vacation creeping up on me. Last days on a holiday are always a little melancholy, and the last day itself, with the silent drive to the airport, the unhappiest.
But as I consider these events over the course of just one week, I am pulled back to this tomb of the Bardolphs dating all the back to 15th century. A Knight and his lady lying there, a wyvern at her feet and an eagle at his. A week in my life means nothing to theirs, so long passed. And, as people, they mean nothing to me, beyond this sculpture that marks a life sufficiently important to warrant such recognition. Yet I find myself projecting something onto them, a sense of life that exists beyond time. Do their spirits – and the spirits of all others who have lived before and now gone – register anything in this living world of light and sound? Or am I as much of a shadow to them as they are to me?
Unanswerable questions but ones I like to contemplate.