Jim Morrison would have been 75 today. Was never gonna make it.
Since City Jackdaw has been flying, I think I’ve probably made a Remebrance Sunday post every year. Except yesterday.
As usual we spent the day, which coincided with the Armistice Centennial, by visiting the memorial on which the names of past family members are listed. It’s this personal connection that gives context to the wider impact of that war.
As I didn’t post yesterday, I will share this photograph today: it’s from when I visited the grave of my Gt Grandfather, Timothy O’Sullivan, in 2007, ninety years to the day since he died. He is buried in Thessaloniki. A plot that is forever England.
I took my lad to watch Manchester City today. Talk about a lucky mascot: the last time I took him we won 7-2. Today’s result was a 6-1 win. I think I will hire him out.
Before the kick off both sets of players and supporters honoured the life of the Leicester owner tragically killed with four others in the recent helicopter crash. Some things transcend football.
This is the time of year when the act of remembering seems to take precedent, whatever your persuasion. From a pagan perspective there was Halloween/Samhain yesterday. For those of a Christian mind today is All Saints Day, followed by tomorrow’s All Souls Day. Even if you don’t wear either of these labels, Remembrance Sunday is also almost upon us.
Maybe it’s when we see see the seasonal decay of the world around us, combined with the shortened hours of daylight, that we instinctively turn inward, thinking about our own mortality and of the roots from which we have sprung.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Yesterday, my daughter and I visited an old cemetery in Harpurhey, Manchester. It’s one of those old cemeteries where it seems burials no longer take place, and to see flowers placed upon a grave is a rare thing indeed.
It’s a cemetery of the forgotten, a cemetery where the dead who reside there have nobody left in the world who can enshrine them in remembrance.
There, among the mouldering rows was a particular grave that we were seeking out. A grave that held the remains of ten people that had connections to us both. Ancestors of four generations.
I remember the first time that I stood on this spot with my father. I asked him who the John Murray was that was listed on the headstone, curious as this man was the one who shared my surname and went the furthest back in time.
“I’m not sure,” my Dad replied. “I think he was an uncle of your Granddad’s.”
Once I began my family history research I soon discovered that this man was actually my Dad’s grandfather.
How easily things become forgotten. Lost.
Not long after that day I began my search, born of curiosity and an undefinable sense of belonging. Of the ten people listed on that headstone, three of them I had known in life. Seven, (possibly eight), I now have photographs of.
Mindful of both the responsibility I have acquired and of the passing years, yesterday I brought my eleven year old daughter with me to Harpurhey. The next generation. To her I will eventually pass the baton.
Their stories I have recorded, and tell to my children. In this way I keep these people alive.
In regard to my blog, these stories are for another time. For now, I list the people here.
May they be forever remembered.
Charles Hewitt 1847-1884
Amelia Hewitt (née Wolfenden) 1847-1901
John Murray 1862-1926
Kate Amelia Murray 1903-1926
Frank Murray 1912-1928
Kate Ann Murray (née Hewitt) 1872-1939
Frank Murray 1950-1954
Millicent Murray 1899-1989
Margaret Murray 1914-1990
Fred Murray 1915-1992
From my poetry blog
Raw Mojo The bleak, blushes of dusk. A Highland wind licks at a heart, wrapped in leaves. Buried beneath a pine cone, needles. Drink 'til I can drink no more; just watch the dead impose in plagues. A girl, dark, unfamiliar, dares to draw the focus of these phantom scarred eyes, blood rushing in her alluring anonymity. A taste of ash, I eat my father. I am an amalgamation of anecdote and mannerism. Assimilated slow and left to boil. Magisterial day. Insouciant night. Sin suggests an arbitrator. I need a new translation, from the prophet's native tongue. ©AndrewJamesMurray
I’ve just heard that Margot Kidder has died, aged 69, and immediately my mind turned to Saturday matinees at the local cinema in the late seventies/early eighties. The cinema is long gone but the memories remain.
And of you, too, Lois Lane.
I’ve been having one of those nights.
I love Buckley, his voice; his playing.
And it’s all such a damn waste isn’t it? Such a tragic, pointless death that could have been easily avoided.
He left us without reaching anything like his potential, but that is just my own selfish lament.
After that acclaimed debut album, Grace, he was finally ready to record the follow up. He sent cassette demo recordings of the new songs he’d been working on to his band so they could familiarise themselves with them on their way over.
While his friends were in the air Jeff was already drowning in the Wolf River. Following his father Tim Buckley into an early grave.
Those songs, destined for an album named My Sweetheart The Drunk were eventually released posthumously on Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk.
Further hints of what could have been.
This is one of those songs, one I’ve been playing over tonight. Beautiful, and poignant with the opening lines
Time takes care of the wound
So I can believe
You had so much to give
You thought I couldn’t see
R.I.P Jeff. Keep singing.