I love cemeteries. Love, bordering on obsession. Of course, the best kind of love tends to border a bit on obsession. I seem to be happiest when I am surrounded by the gravestones, whether it is the silence of a small country cemetery lost in the woods, or the muted urban sounds of the largest city of the dead. I love the rough feel of the aging, sometimes crumbling, stones. The cool kiss of shade from trees planted in remembrance of long-dead loved ones. The smell of green fuzzy moss and lichen, or drooping flowers left in the sun. No matter where I roam, I feel compelled to find the local cemetery, even if I know not a soul buried there. I have explored graveyards all over the US, even in the ice and snow. When friends travel, I always request a photo from an interesting cemetery, that's the best souvenir in the world!
I try to physically get out to a cemetery at least weekly, if not daily. My doctor even recommended it for stress relief and exercise. Can't argue with that. It was probably the best prescription I ever recieved. Even if I can't get to the cemetery, I work on cemetery transcriptions and records every day, even through photographs. Tonight I am working on Johns Chapel Cemetery, located outside of Ash Grove, in Greene County, Missouri. We visited last week, and I managed to photograph almost half of the cemetery. It is pretty large, with some beautiful old stones. There is wonderful symbolism in the beautiful carvings, and I collect examples as I come across them. I found this really interesting tonight: