Be A Tree

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Be a Tree:
2017 Arkansas
Green Burial Conference

Schedule of Events:

October 1 – November 1
Parish Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal

Fine Arts Exhibit: Be a Tree
Best in Show/Artist of NWA

October 27, Friday
Parish Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Artists’

6:00 Reception/Conference Opens
Live Music, Beverages & Hors d’oeuvres
Resource Table: Nightbird Books

October 28, Saturday
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

10:00 Hands-On Home Funeral Training
Jim Bates & Jodi Nimmo,
National Home Funeral Alliance

12:00 Death Café/Brown Bag Lunch

1:00 Coffin Building Workshop

2:00 Green Burial Info/Demo

October 28, Saturday                                                                                                Stage Eighteen, 18 East Center Street

7:00 Death Fest Performance Night
Hosted by Ryan Pickop
Featuring Nature & Madness

October 29, Sunday
Evergreen Cemetery Tour, 12 No. University

10:00   “The Illustrious and the Eccentric”
Historians: Abby Burnett & J B Hogan

Fayetteville Senior Center, 945 So. College
12:00 Death Café/Potluck of Comfort Foods

1:30 Report to the Community, NSBA Update
AR Land Search for Green Cemetery

2:00 Keynote: Ven. Geshe Thupten Dorjee
Buddhist Perspective on Death & Dying

October 30, Monday
Henry Board Room, Fayetteville Public Library

6:00 Write Your Own Obituary: How to Get in the
Last Word as You Get Your Affairs in Order

October 31, Tuesday
Walker Room, Fayetteville Public Library

6:00 “Cemeteries Die Too: How Nature
Lays Claim to the Dead”, Abby Burnett

November 1, Wednesday
Walker Room, Fayetteville Public Library

6:00 “In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye”
Documenting a family’s experience
conducting a Home Funeral


Related Posts:

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce 

Born:  June 24, 1842    Meigs County, Ohio
Married to Mary Ellen "Mollie" Day, 1871; had three kids, divorced in 1904.
Lost ca. 1914 (aged 71-72); last letter postmarked Chihuahua, Mexico 

What’s Bierce got to do with death, other than the high likelihood that he is dead by now? 

During his careers as a Union Soldier in the Civil War, a Writer , and Journalist on the front lines in the Spanish-American War, Bierce created many works of horror fiction, war fiction, science fiction, fantasy, poetry, short stories, humor, Old West cowboy tales, literary criticism and especially satire.  Two of his works I got to peruse in high school were “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and my favorite, “The Devil’s Dictionary”.   Below is a scathing entry from the Dictionary, SO appropriate for this blog.

 "EMBALM,  v.t,  To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By  embalming their dead and thereby deranging the natural balance between animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made their once fertile and populous country barren and incapable of supporting  more than a meager crew. The modern, metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbor’s lawn as a tree or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility. We shall get him after awhile, if we are spared, but in the meantime the violet and rose are languishing for a nibble at his gluteus maximus.

--  Ambrose Bierce “The Devil’s Dictionary”, 1911

Submitted by Tom Dureka commemorating 
Ambrose Bierce 175th upcoming birthday.

Joyce Kilmer on Trees

If ever a poet dreamed of being a tree when he died, it had to be poet (and author, editor, lecturer, etc., etc., etc.) Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918).  Everybody remembers a smidgen (two lines, maybe?) of his famous short poem (oddly enough, from his book “Trees and Other Poems” (1914).

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see             
A poem lovely as a tree.                
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,             
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear            
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain         
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,          
But only God can make a tree.

Kilmer enlisted in the National Guard during World War I.  Deployed as an infantryman to France in 1917, he rose to sergeant and then, to an intelligence officer on the front lines.

He was killed by a sniper bullet in 1918 at the age of 31, leaving    behind his wife Aline Murray, accomplished poet and author,  mother of their five children.


In 1932, “The New Yorker” magazine published Ogden Nash’s sarcastic slam at the  outdoor advertising industry, shamelessly stealing a bit of rhyme from Kilmer…. !

Song of the Open Road”

I think that I shall never see               
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,       
I’ll never see a tree at all.
Some things haven’t changed much, Ogden!!!

Tom Dureka
May26, 2017 

Capsula Mundi biodegradable burial pod





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