Click on the image to see the detail in a zoomable context.
Detail from Virgin and Child with Angels, Joos van Cleve, about 1525
Poet and short story writer Raymond Carver died in Port Angeles, Washington on this day in 1988 (aged 50). He is buried at Ocean View Cemetery in Port Angeles. The inscription on his tombstone reads:
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
No other word will do. For that’s what it was.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. “Don’t weep for me,”
he said to his friends. “I’m a lucky man.
I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don’t forget it.”