Momento Mori

Colorful Painted Skulls

Of Life and Death

Remember, you must die,” says Memento Mori in Latin. That phrase reminds us of our mortality, mistakes and failures, and the inevitable transformation of life into death. It is something that humans are deeply aware of and what separates us from other species. It is a famous philosophical concept that dates back centuries and serves as a reminder that death is inevitable.

As we age, sadly, we lose people more frequently than when we are young. At least, that has been the case for me. Just this year so far, two people in my small world have passed, each full of life, and each cut short far too soon for those who loved them.

The reality is that none of us know how much time we have. My understanding of my limited time inspires me to make the best of it and create something that inspires and lives beyond me. Art is about sharing stories, and the good ones live on longer than the storyteller.

Perhaps artists are more sensitive to our limited time on earth, which might explain the attraction to painting figures and skulls. Both are timeless yet reflect a time in life, and we are keenly aware of both. In creating art, we create something that lives beyond our time. Skulls and skeletons are visual reminders of our mortality, and they have been prevalent in art throughout the ages. They are part of what we are; we understand ourselves better by studying them.

Skulls are often used in motorcycle culture, usually in airbrushed motorcycle art, tattoos, and jewelry.

"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."

As humans, we often lose sight of our mortality and get bogged down by the daily grind. However, the concept of Memento Mori seeks to remind us of our limited time in this world. The ancient philosophers of Rome and Greece were strong advocates of this notion, encouraging people to live their lives with a moral purpose and intention. According to their teachings, accepting the inevitability of death is essential for leading a fulfilling life.

The Stoics believed that death was a natural part of life and implored individuals to seize every moment and make the most of their time. By embracing this idea, we gain a greater appreciation for the time we have and the people around us, and we are motivated to make the most of our time on Earth.

Remembering that our time is limited can inspire us to live each day with greater meaning and purpose.

Carpe Diem

The Dancing Skeletons

Momento Mori Gives Purpose To Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem, commonly understood for the phrase ‘Seize the Day‘ is often thrown around without much thought to its true meaning, but it is a powerful reminder to celebrate life and embrace every moment we are given fully. It encourages us to step out of our routines and mindfully appreciate the simple joys that make life worth living.

“The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.”

By living with intention and purpose, we can find fulfillment and happiness in our day-to-day experiences and create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime. So, let us take a moment to reflect on the gift of life and consciously seize each day with gratitude and enthusiasm.

Let’s treasure our relationships, pursue our passions, and make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. Only then can we truly experience the joy and richness life offers.

Embracing the concept of mortality is a significant aspect we can impart into our lives. It is crucial to acknowledge that this life is finite, and our existence on this earth has an expiration date. Accepting this truth can be challenging, but we can appreciate and value each moment.

"I think it's so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary-you're happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous."

OBLIVIOUS painting on canvas by A.D. Cook

When we live purposefully with good intentions, we become more aware of ourselves, our surroundings, and our relationships with others. Pursuing our dreams and goals is essential, but we must also keep in mind that our time is limited. Therefore, nurturing relationships with others becomes even more valuable as they contribute to our purposeful existence.

We must be grateful for everything in life, as nothing lasts forever. By respecting everything God has given us, we can live in the moment and not take anything for granted.

"Life obliges me to do something, so I paint."

Being an artist is an incredibly unique and personal experience because it is a medium that allows for self-expression in a way that cannot be replicated through other means. When I create my art, I see it as an extension of myself – it not only represents my current state of mind and emotions, but it also serves as a witness to my existence. I enjoy knowing that the pieces I create will be a lasting legacy for generations to come, and I approach each piece with utmost care and consideration, as though each artwork is my last.

My time in the studio is spent honing my craft and trying new techniques, all in an effort to craft the best art possible. It’s a labor of love and a humbling experience to know that each piece could potentially be my final work, but in the end, that fuels my passion and drives me to create something truly incredible.

Click here to see more art.

Carpe Diem

In Closing

“All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true storyteller who would keep that from you.”

— More Posts From This Author —

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