Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Cemetery Obsession....

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:

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