My father is buried in a venerable Washington cemetery.
The place is run by a very strange individual. I know this because I negotiated with him about having my dad buried with our forebears.
Anyway, I thought I would pay my dad a visit on the occasion of our Lady’s birthday today.
As I entered the cemetery, I was confronted with the sight of a small, wooden Washington Monument, with a dragon on the top of it.
I would have been stunned. But I knew the handiwork of my old friend.
Three years ago, as he and I drove across the cemetery to see if there was room to put my dad next to his grandmother, the custodian asked the man in a Roman collar sitting next to him: “So…what religion do you follow?”
Not a good idea. Sculptures of Revelation 20 are not recommended, even under the best circumstances. A “chainsaw sculpture” of Satan being released from hell, carved into the dead trunk of an oak tree? Well, it’s a prescription for hideousness.
My dad is buried fifty yards from Constantino Brumidi, an illustrious nineteenth-century artist who painted the “Apotheosis of Washington” in the Capitol dome. Brumidi’s august presence makes “Unleashed!” (the new sculpture’s title) all the more incongruous.
Thankfully, my father’s grave is not in the same section as “Unleashed!” You can still see both the Basilica to the north and the National Cathedral to the west while you are standing at my dad’s grave. It is still a beautiful, peaceful place. And when the Last Day comes, and my dad stands up again, the fire of God’s glory will have burnt the ugly sculpture to ashes.
…If you didn’t have the chance to read it a year ago, perhaps you would like to read last year’s post for the Blessed Virgin’s birthday.