Anlässlich der Ausstellung Carrie Mae Weems. The Evidence of Things Not Seen im Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart (26.10.2023–7.4.2024) läuft auf dem LED-Fries am Neubau ein Gedicht der Künstlerin.
How Do You Measure a Life?
In this mystery of all mysteries, In the alpha and in the omega
On a day coming in a world without end,
I humbly ask:
By what means
By what measure
Do you measure a life?
Do you measure it
inch by inch,
foot by foot,
yard by yard,
or step by step?
Do you measure it by the moments lost,
or by the moments gained?
Do you measure it by yesterday, today, or tomorrow?
Or by the miles walked,
the mountains climbed and the valleys explored?
Or do you measure it by the dreams imagined,
or by the hopes dashed?
Do you measure it by the wisdom of wise
or by the sorrow suffered in silence?
Do we measure it by the wealth accumulated or by
the amount spent,
by success or by failure,
by the monuments built or by the walls scaled,
by victories and defeats, large or small?
Do we measure it by the forgotten or over
By all of the near misses, by the exhaustion
or do we measure it by the will,
the determination to endure?
Or do we measure it by race, by class, by gender,
by your lover's love or your hater's hate?
Do we measure it by pushing against the wind,
against the tide,
against family and against tradition?
Or do we measure it by the suffering of our friends
and enemies alike?
Do we measure it by the beginning, or by the end?
Do we measure it by the way we confront life
or by the way we confront death?
Or by the number of friends and family that are
gathered during a lifetime?
Or do we measure it by the remaining few
who go as far as they can with you,
shedding copious tears when they lay your
How do we measure this life?
Do we measure it by the road travelled–
the journey taken?
Or by the effort, the will, the drive to endure?
Do we measure it by the kindness displayed in the
act of living,
or do we measure it by the grace offered
or the grace received?