But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today’s poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. You expressed this very condition, when you said that art beautifies life. No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury – one of which you, my dear friend, are fond, however unconsciously.
The term ‘epitaph’ itself means ‘something to be spoken at a burial or engraved upon a tomb.’ When an epitaph is a poem written for a tomb, and appears in a book, we are aware that we are not reading it in its proper form: we are reading a reproduction. The original of the epitaph is the tomb itself, with its words cut into the stone.
It’s not just women in film, 18-year-old girls feel pressure to do preventative injecting. I see someone’s face, someone’s body who’d had children and I think they’re the song lines of your experience, and why would you want to eradicate that? I look at people sort of entombing themselves and all you see is little pin holes of terror… and you think, just live your life, death is not going to be any easier just because your face can’t move.
—Cate Blanchett, “Motherhood, Hollywood and Cate”, The Age, May 9 2005
But when the self speaks to the self, who is speaking? The entombed soul, the spirit driven in, in, in to the central catacomb; the self that took the veil and left the world — a coward perhaps, yet somehow beautiful, as it flits with its lantern restlessly up and down the dark corridors.