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Book of Days

BOOK OF DAYS: A POET AND NATURALIST TRIES TO FIND POETRY IN EVERY DAY

January 9: Impermanence

Kristen Lindquist

Stopped in a Tibetan market tucked inside St. Paul's Episcopal Church and bought from a Buddhist monk a bracelet made of turquoise skull beads. The helpful enclosure reads: "Buddhists incorporated skull images into bracelet to represent the impermanence of life and the limits of human knowledge. Skull-shaped bracelet beads help chanters reflect upon the inevitability of death and the necessity of embracing lives filled with compassion."
We pondered death further on a walk amid the white crypts and statuary of Key West Cemetery: all those above-ground tombs, and also, quite surprising to us, many very large reptiles crawling around the kingdom of the dead as if they owned it.
Tibetan skull beads.
Walk through the cemetery
startled by iguanas.