Tag Archives: West Virginia

Nature and Death

Thoughts on mortality and the evolution of the universe, occasioned by a funeral and by Collingwood’s Idea of Nature and Plato’s Phaedo

Cebeci, Ankara, 2016.05.17

When the husband of my second-grade teacher died, I wanted to pay my respects. My father took me to the funeral home, where I hid behind him as he greeted the family of the deceased. My teacher was not among them. When invited to view the body, I looked over and saw it, lying off to the side in an open casket. I had never seen the man when he was alive. I declined the opportunity to gaze at his lifeless form. Until I came to Turkey, this was my closest approach to the materiality of death—except for a visit to the medical school of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. There, as part of the laboratory program at St John’s College in Santa Fe, students viewed dissected human cadavers.

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June in the New World

This is about our first visit to the US since the death of my mother. The visit culminated in a memorial observance on a wooded hillside at my cousin’s place in West Virginia. Before going there, Ayşe and I stayed with friends in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington. We made some visits to my mother’s currently unoccupied house in Alexandria. Unfortunately we had little time for much else; at least we could not plan on anything else. I have no intention of recounting the whole trip, but will have some things to say about the photos below. Continue reading