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A Rest Area
...of a different kind
This is a beautiful ancient gravestone at The Parish Church of St. Cuthbert in Edinburgh, Scotland. I took the picture when I was in Edinburgh for the Literary Fest there. I meant to finish my post for this week while I was there but I got too involved with the people and the place; it was the best Lit Fest I’ve ever been to. I had a great conversation with the formidable and delightful Irish writer Anne Enright (winner of the Booker Prize 2007 and the Irish Novel of the year 2008), both on a stage and over lunch and dinner; I also particularly enjoying spending time with Jarred McGinnis (first novel: The Coward), and Karl Ove Knausgård (needs no intro!) and his wife who was wonderful. I don’t usually gush about meeting and talking with other writers; in fact I often find it an uncomfortable/artificial thing especially at festivals. But something about this event made it easy and fun.
Then there was a hard-to-describe one-man show with music and mannequins called This Is Memorial Device written and directed by Graham Eatough and acted by Paul Higgins. It was based on a book by David Keenan about an imaginary punk band in the early 80s:
If you are someone who’s ever loved a small-city local legend that got chewed up by the impossible-ness of their existence, or evaporated in the mist of their own gorgeousness before they could become part of the bigger world, see this show if at all possible.
And St. Cuthbert’s: I love the way old places honor their dead, and the way life flows around and through these artifacts, these places of prayer and symbolic representation of things we can’t fathom, a natural flow that is heightened during a festival time. It’s a heartening crux of life and death that thematically connects with the piece I’m doing next week on two beautiful stories about…life and death.