Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stranger stop and cast an eye

I've been going through old pictures (back before the digital age) scanning them in so they don't disintegrate before my very eyes. I miss having the time to stroll around cemeteries and photograph. Cemeteries are serene and the odds of meeting other people there are lower than in other public places. It is partially why I go on vacation to New England in the early winter. I think part of me never liked sharing and was not happy when ordered to share with younger siblings. When it comes to alone time, I want true solitude. Empty beaches, surf angrily crashing into the sand, wind howling like a banshee is a zen experience. Cemeteries, while technically densely populated areas, contain their inhabitants under a thick layer of dirt making them ideal places to gather ones thoughts. In perusing these pictures I decided some people have an odd way of commemorating the deceased. Some are simple, containing one or two words. Some have eerie statues, hooded figures or sobbing women, immortalizing the passing of a loved one by reminding the passerby mortality is self-limiting. And then there are a few truly bizarre ones like the tomb with only the words, "She is not dead...she is just away." One of my favorites is the pyramid with the angel and sphinx on either side of the door. I like the Egyptian imagery. I can't put into words precisely why this tomb in particular is so captivating, but like any good art it sneaks its claws into you without warning or explanation. There are others which I find endearing, but for now this will have to do.

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