A Lingering Presence: Admonitions, Names and Stones

A Lingering Presence: Admonitions, Names and Stones



A few years back I visited the Accademia Gallery in Florence, to see firsthand David by Michaelangelo.  In that venue, no one is allowed to take photographs which seemed to trigger shock reactions in many of those seeking to get a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of that beautiful piece of art.   It caused me to wonder how do you remember or prove that you were there without a photograph.

These days, or perhaps it’s been forever, there is an obsession with leaving some fingerprint, footprint or lingering essence of our being.
panama names etched in stone
We try to find ways to leave our voice our our name behind in the places we have been.
florence graffitti
We long to be remembered and let people know our thoughts.
australia 1361
A pen, a marker, a stone can leave a mark
Monuments built for remembrance. Focus your eyes and take in the feast of it all
You are remembered for the rules you break —Douglas MacArthur

9 replies »

  1. James Hillman speaks about how people use graffiti or other forms of personal marks to add their presence to a city…he calls it existing within soul, and the fact that the city is never really outside of us, but is created by humanity, for humanity, and so we have an urge to personalize it. It’s an interesting perspective.

    Likewise, he says that the darkness, loneliness and pathology within cities is also a part of soul…


  2. It is a human compulsion to want to be remembered, leave a mark and have folks echo their names into eternity, something everyone is guilty of on occasion. But I am always fascinated by those that chose not to leave a trace with more energy as the folks who scream for recognition, therein lies secrets, intrigue and that old cat killer, curiosity.

    I prefer to pass through life as a ghost, a figment of nothing in the blink of an eye, that is a tougher challenge at times than trying to leave a mark!

    “It is easy to see who was present when a person leaves their mark, it is by far a more interesting question of who was present when they consciously tried not to leave any trace”


    • I feel no compunction to leave a mark behind on the places I have visited but rather to look at or think about the mark those places may have left on me. I saw David many years ago. Don’t recall now if photos were allowed then or not but, as I have never felt myself to be a very skilled photographer, bought a postcard of it, and many other sights that I wanted to be able to clearly recall.


  3. Great post Mimi. Makes one think about the mark that would signify their actual existence. Perhaps a ‘Full stop’ or ‘Question mark’ or maybe a national treasure held in a gallery for all to see. B


  4. Love the post and the pictures Mimi. I have this image in my mind of a group of people all taking a picture of the obvious subject, and you turned the opposite direction taking a photo of an unnoticed one. You have unique and artistic eye!


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