In the north of bustling island of Manhattan, tucked away in a quiet park, overlooking the Hudson river is a small medieval wonder.
Inside the Cloisters financed by the scion of the financier John D. Rockefeller and filled with treasures of stone, glass, gold and paper lays the effigy of an unnamed knight of the family of d’Aluye.
Around 1258 in the French Loire valley, carved in limestone, he was placed in the Cistercian abbey by those he loved to rest.
The warrior is seen with a shield, chain mail shirt and strangely a sheathed sword as his fingers are locked instead in eternal prayer.
The knight belonged to three generations of d’Aluye men, who had fought to win the Holy Lands for Europeans. In the process of living, fighting and dying, he like many warriors had sought to redeem his soul.
As strange as it is to reflect on his life in a digital age (where what clicks is what counts), the Knight is a reminder of eternal principles from an ancient world.
Matters of who you are, what you lived and died for, were of such great importance that they were memorialized into stone, and immediately recognized by others who would transported the effigy across an ocean onto to a hill.
There he is tucked away in a cloister and eulogized by new generation of strangers that are reminded of the shared fate awaiting all men.