Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Galery Show, Grave Matters

All photographs were taken with a Kodak Easy Share cx7525 camera and are unretouched. Except for cropping, the pictures have not been manipulated in any way.

Is it wrong that I'm posting the cemetery pictures on T's Birthday? Nothing personal, hun.

Soldier's Rest

Soldier’s Rest

Oh, how weary I am become
How sore of foot, of heart
And longing for a place to rest my head
I seek peaceful ground
Hallowed not by the blood of my fellows
Not by loss, pain, sorrow, fear, glory
But rather blessed by the shade of grand trees
The hymn of the gentle wind
A bit of earth to call my own
For all eternity

In Clarkesville, Ga, behind the main drag and somewhat easy to miss, is a forlorn little graveyard. I imagine at one time it was quite fine, with headstones, footstones all erect and easily read. Family plots were walled in, fenced, tidy. Today, the stones are tumbled, toppled, gone entirely, sometimes nothing more than a declivity to mark where someone rests. The fences rust, bend, creak, break, and make way for the trees that began as lovingly planted saplings but now reach high and wide for the sun and sky. The few stones still standing are not easy to read. The place has been largely forgotten – but not entirely. If you go on certain days (determined by a judicious application of chaos to the calendar), you may meet an odd little man. He is affable, chatty, liable to follow you as you traipse around the graves, telling you tales of hauntings and how he was called to tidy the place up a bit, to haul away trash and neaten the jumbled stones and put a little spit and polish where it will do some good. If you listen, he will tell you how many bags of trash he’s hauled, how many hours, days he’s worked. He has pictures of his ghostly sightings and will tell you about the people beneath your feet. It was not he who put the flags and metal markers on the graves, but he will make sure they look sharp. There’s a wealth of history where the dead sleep…

Floating Window

Floating Window

Outside the sun
Blasted downward
A fury of rays
Within the coolth
Of the quiet crypt
Floated the light
Filtered through glass
A vision in the dark

Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Ga, is worth a visit whether you fancy being among the departed or no. The crypts, the mausoleums, are as fine as any house, sometimes nicer. I went in the Autumn, but the day was as hot as any in the Summer. I was grateful that long-ago people planted trees as memorials, planted gardens for plots, placed benches for longer visits – the shade was a benediction. The crypt doors were often open, the public kept out with iron grills but the interior still visible. Through one doorway, I saw this window, seeming to float in the darkness. I had to shoot it through the grillwork, an opening of perhaps an inch square, and didn’t know until I got home what I might have…the light was too harsh for me to see my view screen!
Bark Rose

Bark Rose

I know what you see
You’re not alone
Everyone tells me
What it looks like
A bark rose

I find cemeteries to be lovely places, especially the old ones. Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is as much a garden as a place for the dead to rest their weary bones. This tree grows on a wall, back near the MARTA tracks beside a walkway. The first thing I thought when I saw it was “Oh, a bark rose…”, which is not at all what other folks have said when they've seen the picture. Still…I see a rose. I suppose it’s all in the eye of the beholder…

No comments: