A Place

John Berger, England

Storyteller, essayist, novelist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic. Author of 'Ways of Seeing'.

(Originally published by kind permission of John Berger in 'The Art of Living')

What reconciles me to my own death more than anything else is the image of a place: a place where your bones and mine are buried, thrown, uncovered, together. They are strewn there pell-mell. One of your ribs leans against my skull. A metacarpal of my left hand lies inside your pelvis. (Against my broken ribs your breast like a flower.)

The hundred bones of our feet are scattered like gravel. It is strange that this image of our proximity, concerning as it does mere phosphate of calcium, should bestow a sense of peace. Yet it does. With you, I can imagine a place where to be phosphate of calcium is enough.

From 'And our Faces, my Heart, Brief as Photos', John Berger, Bloomsbury, London, 2005 and Vintage, New York, 2002.

Image credit: The Cheddar Man Museum of Prehistory. http://www.cheddarcaves.co.uk/section.php/20/1/cheddar_man___museum_of_prehistory

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