Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Beautiful Mourning.









A dose of mid-week mourning seems like a major downer now that I consider it. Oh well, I'm going with the theme anyway...

A short absence in the blog world seems like the equivalent of an entire year somehow, doesn't it? I've been so busy. I took on a freelance photo editing project last week for a book on medical forensics {a random assignment...not an area of expertise by any means}, and I had no time to pay attention to my beloved blog. I hope she {and you} will forgive me. Needless to say, I was up to my eyeballs in photos of decapitations, bullet wounds, and diseased organs. Yes, a bit yuck. But also fascinating. Needless to say, this got me thinking a lot about death: not in a depressing, teen-angsty kind of way, but in a morbidly romantic kind of way. And who was more morbidly romantic than the Victorians? I sort of wish we hadn't forgotten how to make death a beautiful ritual...

::Check out Chrissy Piper's lovely Victorian mourning photostream on flickr / Learn about Victorian mourning rituals here / Have a look around this fun site that features Victorian low-brow art and objects, including Memento Mori...more goodies for my curiosity cabinet!

11 comments:

Francy said...

There's something about the Victorians I just love. I love the darkness that's part of it. These pictures kind of creep me out, but I still find them inspiring.

pixiedrivein.blogspot.com

Catherine said...

You were so very missed! Even though, I too am too busy to keep up with my beloved blog, I check into yours daily! Loved this post and glad to have you back. :)

zoe said...

...that completely veiled woman is more than a little creepy, but i'm not sure which is more disturbing--that or the one after it! i think i'll have a look at those rituals, they must be something..

{Tara} said...

Francy -- I agree. That is what draws me, in part, to Victoriana. The slightly morbid aspect of it is really alluring.

Catherine -- You are so kind to say so!!!

Zoe -- Isn't she scary?? Yet, I wish I had some excuse to walk around completely veiled sometimes. ;)

Blood Milk said...

welcome back. i missed your posts.

Ashley Olivia Bobcat said...

Oh, these photos are fascinating!! I immediately thought about that part of "Gone With the Wind" [a movie that I have memorized, like any good, self-respecting Southerner] when Scarlett is upset about having to wear mourning at such a young age bc her husband has died....
Scarlett: I'll just go around scaring people in BLACK!
Mammy: You ain't supposed to be around people!!
(This isn't near as good without the accent... Stop me in the hall one day and I will give you a performance!)

Ms. B @ Millie Deel said...

Welcome back! I've been away from the blogosphere for awhile as well and you're right it does feel like forever!

I've always been fascinated by the melancholy/morbid feel of the Victorians!! Great images you've posted!

{Tara} said...

Blood milk -- You are too kind!

Ms. B -- why does it feel like you've missed the world when you've been away for such a short time? It's so strange, isn't it? I agree about the morbid Victorians -- fascinating!

Ashley -- Wow, my mom used to force me to watch that movie at least once a year [my namesake].

Courtney said...

I've been reading a little about mourning after the Civil War. In one book, there was a photograph of a woman in black holding her dead baby. Apparently that happened when photography was new and people had formal grieving practices?! I never knew that before.

Thanks for your post, which has inspired me to think about death! ;)

mangoweb said...

Wonderful links! I always feel a bit guilty re: this fondness I have for mourning jewelry and various accoutrements...it is nice to know I am not the only one! Here are a few of my favorites I was looking at this past October:

http://mangowebdesign.com/mangolassie/?p=346

-mlle ghoul

{Tara} said...

Courtney -- Yes! The Victorians loved taking pictures of the dead...sometimes they would pose them and sometimes they would take a photo of the dead in their coffins. So creepy and interesting!

Mangoweb -- You are definitely not the only one. Thanks so much for the link!