Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Disappearing Cherubs


When I was at the cemetery with Olga on Sunday, we came across a grave that I've never noticed before. It has an elaborate metal (bronze?) plaque mounted on a granite headstone, featuring two angels holding swords and a verse from 1 Corinthians: "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." It seems to have been worn down over the years; this is one of the winged cherubs near the top of the plaque, just barely visible.


Here's the whole thing. It's kind of hard to see. I had a terrible time photographing it because it's partly engulfed in blackberry bushes -- in fact, I think that's why I've never noticed it before. Now that it's winter the bushes have died back enough to make it visible.

Work yesterday went better than I feared. Because the building is largely empty, I only saw about six people the entire day, and most of those were only in passing. My fears about being exposed to large numbers of people at this crazy peak-Coronavirus time appear to be unfounded. After today the chance that I'll encounter anyone will be even less; this is the last day for students to come in and collect materials for distance learning.

I mostly re-shelved books and talked (via Zoom) to my supervisor about projects I can work on in coming weeks. We're still not sure how to handle book checkouts or if it's even possible. I'm thinking I'll only work mornings in the library because the school isn't offering any lunch, and rather than pack my own I'll just come home and catch up on computer work in the afternoons from here.


The other day Olga came home from her outing with the dog walker and bounded up on the couch as usual. I scratched her head and noticed she had something bright green in her mouth. It was this shred of tennis ball, stuck firmly in her front teeth! She must have torn one up while she was on her walk. Doesn't she look guilty?

43 comments:

  1. Angels don't wield swords any more, they carry sub-machine guns just in case they encounter any non-believers or lockdown rule breakers on their angelic travels.

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  2. OLGA, such a pretty girl! I hope the rest of the tennis ball is not in her stomach, that could be for some sore business.
    Angels are weird, who invented them?

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    1. Olga is very good about not eating the shreds of tennis balls she tears up, thank goodness! I don't know where the idea of angels came from, but they go back to at least Biblical times, right?

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  3. Oh yes, Olga looks very guilty. At least she is looking at you. Our favourite dog would turn its head away from our gaze when he was guilty.

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    1. Ha! Olga does that when she wants some of our food. She sits very close to us but looks elsewhere.

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  4. Wouldn't you love to know the history of that grave and what prompted such a strange quote and in bronze no less? Olga DOES look guilty. Do you suppose she stole the ball from some tennis player?

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    1. Yeah, I need to do some research on the grave. I'm not sure what that Bible verse even means, or what its context is.

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  5. I love that plaque or whatever it is. Imagine the idea that you made such a work of art for someone who's passed.

    Now, Olga, clearly has a guilty look on her face...and it's adorable!

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    1. It's a shame the plaque isn't more visible, though if it's really bronze it's probably just as well as someone might have stolen it by now.

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  6. I'm not sure if Olga looks guilty or if she looks like she's saying, "Darn you, Steve, I was saving that bit for later."

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    1. Could be that! It HAD to feel better to have that thing out of her teeth, though.

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  7. Olga does look a bit guilty in that photo. What an interesting headstone. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. As I've often said, every time I go to the cemetery I see something new!

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  8. As Linda Sue said, hopefully, the rest of it isn't cycling through her system.
    After chugging along through these Covid months, we now have an extended member of the family who's tested positive. He does travel on the NYC subway, so mask or no mask, it seems almost inevitable. Your caution, especially with the new developments there, it well-founded.

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    1. Oh no! Sorry about your family member. Hope he's OK. I'm not worried about Olga and the tennis ball -- she never swallows the pieces, fortunately. (She will swallow sticks, though, which creates a lot of stomach-rumbling.)

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  9. I wonder how old that plaque is. I wouldn't think bronze would erode though I don't know why not. I guess I missed that you went back in to work. Minnie always has favorite toys until she eventually tears a hole in it and then she spends her time pulling out all the stuffing. I can shove it all back in but unless I sew up the hole she takes it all out again.

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    1. Dogs naturally want to disembowel their prey, I suppose! I don't know about the plaque -- if it's not bronze I don't know what else it would be. It doesn't look rusty enough to be iron, though I suppose that's possible.

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  10. That plaque is so interesting. Makes me want to take a walk through the cemetery here and see such works of art.
    Yes, Olga does look guilty, but also as adorable as ever.

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    1. The cemetery really IS full of lots of interesting artworks.

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  11. I could have used this photo for a topic when I taught language arts. What is Olga thinking?

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  12. Olga looks so little in that photo! Such a cute girl. I recently blogged about my George swallowing the cover of a baseball. We find stray baseballs at the park all the time, but alas he can't be trusted to just play with them and not eat them!

    That plaque is really bizarre, but I like it! I wonder what that verse meant to the person that paid for it?

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    1. She's not THAT little. I think it's just the camera angle. Fortunately she never seems to swallow the bits of balls she demolishes.

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  13. Olga is giving you some serious side eye :)

    I'm listening to a Neil Gaiman book set in London Below (Neverwhere), and it has an angel in it - the Angel Islington. I shall say no more in case you ever want to read it (I highly recommend it so far!).

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    1. Interesting! I don't know that book! (Maybe we need to get it for the library?)

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    2. I really liked it. I've read three books of his now - this one, Good Omens, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

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  14. Eerie (no, not Olga. She is quite the lady.) All we need now, to go with your take of the cherub and the Angels, is a short story written by, say, Edgar Alan Poe. Shiver me timbers.

    U

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    1. It IS a bit eerie, though I think it might be less so if we could clearly see the images.

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  15. She does look guilty; the side eye looks give it away in dogs. My cat never feels guilty about anything. Glad that work is going OK and getting figured out.

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  16. It is amazing how Olga can communicate with you - her expression! Cute!
    Our library had a drive-up, pick-up set up when it was closed at the beginning of COVID. Do the students' parents drive? Or you could set up ebooks and online resources for your students if they cannot get to the actual books? I am sure it is frustrating for you to not be able to deliver the resources they might need. Good luck!

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    1. We do have books online, both e-books and audio books, so they can make do with those. The problem with collection is that people aren't supposed to leave home now, except to exercise, and they're not supposed to leave their immediate neighborhoods. So we're not sure we can encourage them to come to school and pick up books.

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  17. The first photo is incredibly melancholic

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    1. Isn't it? I found that quite a haunting face.

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  18. I am glad that you don't have to have much contact when you are at work. They are talking about sending us back in February. Yikes.

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    1. Yeah, at the moment it's working out fine, but of course no one is around. We're talking about bringing the kids back in mid-February, depending, of course, on the infection numbers.

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  19. Olga does look guilty. Graveyards are a reflection of the past--so many graves from 1918-1919 because of the flu pandemic. In the future, folks will look at the graves from 2020-2021 and marvel at the impact of COVID.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Although covid deaths, scary as they are, are still FAR fewer than the Spanish flu. The Spanish flu killed 50 million people!

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    2. You're right. People live now because of advances in medicine. No one really knew what to do in 1918.

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