The Burial, Thread – @ RoseKill, Kingston, NY; @Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY; @Seth’s Cabin, Orange, Ma, July 2016
Family history - Vogler & Sons Funeral Home / remembering / forgetting / releasing / change / space / thread / gathering / honoring
Dressed in a red dress I lead everyone down a road. There is a table. I put a dead bird on a small red stand on the table. I begin to read about the history of my family – the history of Vogler & Sons Funeral home. I blindfold the bird as they do to the deceased in the Philippines. I continue to read. We have a smoking ceremony, as they do in Australia. I continue to read. I wash the bird as the Hindu do. I continue to read. Part one of the burial is complete.
Ann Street Gallery
Dressed in a red dress I stand in front of the small audience and welcome everyone. I tell them about my family history – the funeral home has been in our family for six generations. I begin to read, I start where I left off. I set up a small alter of incense and a burning white candle as they do in China. I continue to read. I surround the bird with salt and soil, as they do in the Scottish Highlands. I continue to read. I surround the bird with herbs. I continue to read. Part two of the burial is complete.
This is not the first thing I have buried on Seth’s land in Orange, Ma. We buried our cat, Ceres there in 2005. I find her burial site. I clean the space; I dig a hole beside Cere’s grave. I go back to the cabin to collect the dead and my partner in life, Vela. We walk back to the burial site. I lite a candle. I fill the hole with water. I place the herbs into the grave. I lay the bird on top of the herbs and sprinkle the salt and soil around the bird. I adorn the grave with jewels as they Greek and Egyptians have done for many years. Vela and I write down what we would like to release on small pieces of paper, the papers are added to the grave. I cover the bird with soil. I place rocks on top of the grave so other animals with leave it be. I blow out the candle. The burial is complete.