Red and blue

Dad’s headstone was just delivered and installed today. I created the design a few weeks ago; the engravers had to adjust it a bit, but it came out OK. I’m sorry they were not able to add the falling petals, but it beats having an off-the-shelf design. Reportedly, the engravers liked it enough that they plan on keeping it as an option for their catalog (I let Mom decide about the rights).

I noted a while ago that each series of photos I took while wrestling with the idea of my father’s impending death turned out to be very vivid and full of life — almost jarringly so, and the last series contained a lot of red (there are more images than that small set, that’s just a display bit.) When I noticed this, I thought about the meanings of the colour red. Blood, life, death, vitality, danger, joy, power, energy, bravery… Red is a very strong colour, and in an image it can overwhelm other elements. Our eye is instinctively drawn to red.

In the reflections off the stone in this image, you can see Mom’s silhouette and the red splash of the begonias she placed. I guess we made the same colour association.

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