Some days, it’s all you can do simply to fight the pull of gravity.
I had seen the five prone figures of Laura Ford’s “Armour Boys” when I visited the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in the summer of 2012. In the summer, these crumpled, child-sized bronze figures look almost playful as they lie in a grove of towering pines: you might imagine they are sleeping rather than slain. In autumn, though, these sculptures seem particularly poignant as they lie covered in fallen leaves. Is this what it’s like to die in a lonely wooded landscape, destined to be buried in nothing but windswept leaves?
On Sunday, as J and I approached the grove where the Armour Boys lie, a family with a young child approached the same grove from the opposite direction. I paused, wondering how the child would react to the fallen figures: would he ask the obvious, innocent question of what was wrong with the crumpled knights, putting his parents on the spot to explain the troubling grown-up mysteries of death, violence, and war?
I needn’t have worried. The child took one look at the first figure he happened upon, happily proclaimed him to be “sleeping,” and blithely continued on, looking for other ground-level wonders to explore.
This is my Day 13 contribution to NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, a commitment to post every day during the month of November: thirty days, thirty posts.