“You were so young.” I tell my brother Ben, as we look at a photograph of him, his feeding tube wrapped around him, ruffling his pajamas as they creased around his frail body. “You were so thin.” I say, acknowledging the way his expression told everything he had been through. I wanted to reach out and hold him, the image a reflection of the fate he seemed to have accepted.
Memento Mori, like this photo of my brother, are everywhere. One can encounter their mortality unintentionally, even just walking down the street.
Candy Chang’s art installation “Before I die” plasters the walls lining cities around the world. Described in “O, The Oprah Magazine” as: “a series of large-scale projects that combine installation art and social activism,…show more content… Surprisingly, it was her almost immediate response to his death that inspired Krasner’s “The Seasons”. At first glance one could easily pass this piece of work, merely taking into account its colors and shapes. Using primarily greens, pinks, browns, and ivories, these shapes appear as abstract flowers, leaves and braches. Taking a second look, one can see the pressing allusion to their representation of sexual organs. Reading further into this, I consulted one of Krasner’s online biographies. It described Krasner and her work during this time as “a sensuous painterly style in which human, animal, and plant forms play prominent roles. Often alluding to the natural world's cycle of birth and death, the canvases are simultaneously seductive and ominous, life-affirming and…show more content… He explains that no matter how many sides are added to the polygon inside, it will never reach the wholeness of the circle. Deepening his theory even further, he explains that you can’t visualize the entirety of existence from the accumulation of factual knowledge. The build- up of facts, like the build- up of sides, will never lead to wholeness.
But if knowledge won’t help us find the entirety of life, what will?
We are consistently looking for life to the full, hoping that the accumulation of knowledge, or relationships will help us in our subconscious fight against death. Our mortality is prominent, and we cope with it through these distractions, none of them ever working completely. Thinking deeper into the concept of coping with death I was reminded of a “Psychology Today” article that questions how exactly humans cope with their mortality. It states that the basic approach, that we all rely on as humans, is to not always dwell on death; unfortunately, “forgetting” our mortality often fails, so we rely on other coping mechanisms to get by. The article later reads, “We know we will die, no matter how much we try and avoid thinking about it. So, humans developed cultural symbols of meaning and