Friday, February 15, 2008

Where in the World is Carmen Santiago's Body

(Heath Ledger's apartment, NYC)

Here's an little interesting Google Map mash-up of where various celebrities died in NYC.

I remember seeing a similar map mash-up indicating the various cemeteries where celebrities' bodies are located but I have to say that I've never really responded to any of this cemetery stuff. The actual location of a death seems far more intriguing to me than the sites where we sanitize it all with our rituals.

(New Orleans' home, owner unknown)


pbsebastian said...

I agree that the place of death can be more intriguing then the memorial. I am often stuck by the notion that the location of a death carries some kind of residue of the event. That there is some kind of quality in the space that changes. Something about this rings true to me. However, the skeptical part of me counters this notion by arguing that it is only the knowledge that someone has died in this room that I am reacting to. I probably walk though many rooms that would contain this metaphysical change without any other thought than what’s on my ipod.

Is it some kind of residue of death or is it the knowledge of death that gives me that creepy feeling? I don’t know how to answer this.

I once saw Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at my college campus. He wasn’t talking about death but instead love and fear. Mostly love, and the metaphysical impact that emotion can have on a space. He used the example of sometimes walking into a home and having the sense that there has been much love in that house. You just feel it. He was saying that there is a real emotional residue, or collection in the air. I’m not usually drawn towards metaphysics but Archbishop Tutu is a very charming speaker and he had an impact on me.

If he is right, and there is emotional residue, then the event of death could leave some residue. Some deaths probably more so then others. I imagine that the death of someone who goes kicking and screaming might leave more residues then someone who goes quietly and graciously. Could there be some kind of metaphysical scar that a person can leave on their way out. A profound sense of loss, a loss of control, a regret of a life not fully lived. Is this what I feel when I have that creepy feeling?

Tanya said...

I am a fascinated and growing believer in how thoughts and emotions can affect the space and also, one's body (but that's another subject). What is it that we feel when something's not quite right? Like the picture of the New Orleans home, with "Help" scrawled across the whiteboards, I think it is the energy of a spirit or presence that is going against the grain, that is confused, that in essence, might be asking for help from us? I'm just speculating. I am really struck by the visual of that last picture though. Obviously family members and friends of those who have died go through a lot of fear and pain and seek sources for help - but in what situations might a dead person ask for help?