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"First, we will die. Then we will be forgotten." - Photographer Balder Olrik

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

"What does a graveyard tell about life? Meet Danish artist Balder Olrik who has been walking around Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris for months, taking fascinating pictures of empty mausoleums. “I looked into one of the mausoleums, and it hit me really hard in the stomach. There was a huge bouquet of flowers made of silk with hundreds of spiderwebs on top of it. It was really painful. At this moment, I realized that we are going to be forgotten.” Olrik has recently been confronted with death in his personal life and took to Paris to recover from severe illness. By chance, he visited Père Lachaise and found – in the middle of vibrant Paris – a silent world of its own. “It’s obvious that somebody has loved somebody. The most touching mausoleums are the ones where you actually can see that there was love between some people – someone who is dead, somebody that’s alive. But at a certain point, it is left there. Maybe because the person who loved died. Or fell in love with somebody else.” “It made me realize that maybe I should just do the things I want to do in life. And maybe it is also an awkward worry – this worry of not being eternal. Why is it so hard for us to grasp the fact that we don’t live forever, that it has an end? Maybe it is causing us a lot of trouble while we live that we care so much about ourselves for when we are not alive.” Danish artist Balder Olrik (b. 1966) entered The Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen at age 16, one of the youngest artists ever to attend. Shortly after entering the academy, he was included in numerous exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, gaining international recognition for his works. In 1998, Olrik left the art world and became an early pioneer in new media technology, launching a successful viral media company. Sixteen years later, he returned to art, focusing on photography primarily inspired by behavioural and perceptual science. Olrik expresses a distinct silence and solitude within his art, a theme prevalent throughout his early works to the present. He lives and works in Paris and Copenhagen. Balder Olrik was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris in October 2022." from video introduction

You Are Not the Author of Your Story

You’re probably like me — you like a good story. Whether it’s a TV drama, a box office hit movie, or a best-selling novel, we tend to line up for a compelling story.

Maybe you’re sitting in a restaurant or around a campfire, and your friends begin to tell stories. Each one seems better than the one before. It begins to feel a bit like a contest. It seems as if people are trying to “outstory” one another, so you begin to thumb through your mental catalog of personal stories to see if you are carrying one that may just win the day.

Maybe someone tells you a fantastic story, and you can’t wait for the opportunity to retell it to someone else. We all love a good story.

Your Story Won’t Make History

The honest reality is that most of our stories won’t end up in history books. After we die, most of our personal history will die with us, forgotten except for perhaps a few pictures or memories cherished by our closest loved ones. The chances of your life accomplishments being preserved in a biography are slim to none.

“Your life story is a biography of wisdom and grace written by Another.”

Discouraging? It shouldn’t be. Rather, if you are God’s child, you have been invited into a much bigger story — the grand redemptive story — which is now your biography.

Better than anything impressive that you could accomplish in this life, your life story is a biography of wisdom and grace written by Another. Every twist of the plot is for the best. Every turn he writes into your story is right. Every new character or unexpected event is a tool of his grace. Each new chapter advances his purpose.

Hosea 14:9 proclaims, “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right.” It is almost a gross understatement to say that God’s ways are better. How could they not be? He is infinite in wisdom and grace!

You have been welcomed into the best story ever by grace and grace alone. Best of all, this story that is your biography has an end that never ends.." from the article: You Are Not the Author of Your Story

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