“Our teacher simply commanded: 'Stand up!' and we put our pointe shoes on our bare feet and started the class. At the end of the lesson the slippers were covered in blood. I don’t consider them to be relics, but I could never throw those pointes away. They are a very touching reminder of childhood — like my first essays and my first math exercise books, which are covered in scribbles.”
- Yekaterina Kondaurova, Mariinsky ballet soloist
I was going to try to turn this into an extended post about "memorialism", pneumatic presence, gnosticism, veneration of relics, Christian attitudes toward burial, and ultimately the centrality of contingency and immanence/beauty (together with, if not outright contra in some cases, transcendence/sublimity), but really, I think (as I so often do) that David Hart says it best: "surfaces are always more complicated than 'depths'."
(If, however, anyone is somehow interested in me spouting off on those topics, do let me know.)