Waves of memory and gravitation—a photographic meditation in Ascension Burial Ground, Cambridge

Sir Arthur Eddington's grave
This afternoon I went to visit the very fine letter carver Eric Marland in his workshop, an old chapel of rest in the Ascension Burial Ground, just off the Huntingdon Road. I went because Eric is carving a memorial stone for the Cambridge Unitarian Church where I am minister.

The BBC once described this graveyard as "Britain's brainiest cemetery." That's probably not true but it's pretty close to being the case. It's full of truly remarkable people both well- and less well-known. One of the most famous is Wittgenstein but, today — on the day that the discovery of gravitation waves was confirmed — I made a special point to visit to the grave of Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) whose book "The Nature of the Physical Universe" (1928) was my first (albeit a little out of date) introduction to Einstein's theories about relativity. I was living in a windmill deep in rural Suffolk in the late 1980s when the philosopher and translator, Martin Joughin, with whom I was sharing this rural retreat, assured me it was well worth my time and effort. It was. Martin also introduced me to Spinoza and French philosophy in general as, at the time, he was translating Gilles Deleuze's "Expressionism in Philosophy."

Anyway, as I got to Eddington's grave on this day of very exciting Einstein related news I, quite literally, took my hat off to him.

But I also took time to see again the memorial stone (see right) of a remarkable man whose funeral I conducted in December 2014 at the Cambridge Guildhall — Simon Sedgwick-Jell. You can read his obituary in the Guardian at this link. It was a great privilege and honour to have been asked by his family to conduct his service which contained not only a Psalm but also some words by the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), not only the great hymn "Jerusalem" setting William Blake's visionary words but also "The Internationale" (in Billy brag's version).

It was a beautiful day today and so I took advantage of the lovely light to take a few other photos of this wonderful place where Christian symbolism is slowly, gently and lovingly always being consumed by nature — something my religious naturalist tendencies finds comforting.

All the photos were taken with my iPhone6+ using the Blackie App. Just click on a photo to enlarge it. Enjoy.












G. E. Moore's grave
Eric Marland's workshop







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