Friday, May 10, 2013

The Eternal Embrace

More than a thousand people so far have lost their lives in a  building collapse in Bangladesh a little over a couple of weeks ago.

Among them, this anonymous couple, frozen in an embrace even death could not break.

The photograph is poignant, yet, despite the tragic context, it is also strangely, hauntingly...beautiful. It echoes the recent discovery in Romania of a pair of skeletons - dubbed as Romeo and Juliet - holding hands since they both died sometime in the Middle Ages.

And, even earlier than that, the "Lovers of Valdaro": a Neolithic couple buried together in an eternal embrace.

No one knows if that Bangladeshi couple were lovers, husband and wife, co-workers, or even complete strangers. But when tragedy befell them, at the very least - and I'm aware this is cold comfort for those they left behind - they had someone to embrace them in the end.

Rest in peace. Love forever.


  1. after 17 days, miraculously they found one survivor today.

    1. Yes, indeed, Mr. Green Thumb! I was just reading the good news.

      A glimmer of light amid all that darkness.

  2. I do hope in the afterlife, they would find each other still.

    1. Yes.

      That would be a lovely thing, JM.

      That even when death do us part, we find each other still.

  3. You are right. These pictures are haunting but very, very beautiful. They say you're meant to share life's big moments with the ones you love. Why should death be any different?

  4. I don't think of silver linings very often, Nyl, but in cases like these - why the hell not?

    Do you remember that scene in Titanic, of the elderly couple playing the real-life Strauses, who were last seen in a final embrace on their bed as the water came in beneath them?

    Isidor Straus refused to board the lifeboats - even though as part of an elderly couple he had been granted a spot - as long as there remained women and children on the Titanic. His loyal wife, Ida, refused to board without him, and her immortal words to him were "We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go."

    The epitaph to their memorial is equally beautiful: "Many waters cannot quench love - neither can the floods drown it."

    Plenty of people found that scene in the movie very sad - and it was. And yet, there was still somehow something ... comforting in the fact that the couple who spent their lives together, died together. Not alone, but in each other's arms. Sharing the last human experience in this mortal realm. Together.

    I will never say tragedy and human suffering are beautiful. But that doesn't mean there cannot be beauty despite them.

    1. Gosh, I remember that scene! I remember thinking about that scene several times after I first saw the movie. When they released it in 3D, i went home and read up on the Strauses.

      I think plenty should be said about Ida. It takes a real loving wife to make that commitment. And to think I always just thought they knew they weren't strong enough to survive in the ocean. I know that's what I'd be doing if I were there. lolz

    2. I'm with you on Ida's commitment. If I were in her place, I'd probably have whacked Isidor unconscious and kicked his noble ass into the lifeboat.

  5. Is it just me or are you getting a wee bit more sentimental than usual? =)

    Hay Rudie, a days ago, I came across this poem by Pablo Neruda where he says

    "That time was like never, and like always.
    So we go there, where nothing is waiting;
    we find everything waiting there."

    It made me feel nostalgic, and stirred up a feeling of longing. For what, I wondered?

    "For the eternal, which is what the longing seems to be for," a wise friend and mentor told me.

    Strange, isn't it? I hope you are well, and I miss you.


    1. You sound quite wistful, Kane; looks like it is you who are more sentimental than usual ;)

      There is a definite correlation between my sentimentality and my feelings of vulnerability. I hate that the eternal plays into it - sometimes obliquely, sometimes more directly.

      I am well as can be, which means I've been better. Then again, that also means I've been worse, so I can only be thankful for what is - which is about all of us can do, anyway. I hope you are in a good place, although judging from your tone, perhaps we'd best save it over that long-delayed dinner.

      You'll have to drink alone, though, as I am on the wagon - unwillingly, to be sure - yet again.

      See you soon, dear K.