graveyard walk

i really enjoy people watching...watching their expressions when talking, observing their interactions when they don't know i'm watching - and esp when they do.........wondering why that person is alone or if that couple is on a first date - happily married - or going through the motions. i'm too chicken to actually take pictures of them....afraid they'll catch me and ask me why i am taking their picture......what would i tell them? you are just so fascinating at this moment that i want to capture your posture or your face or your feeling? i only have regular old digital camera too - so i can't even take shots of people too far away to notice me. besides - i think people are more likely to cut a person with a fancier - high tech camera more seriously as a photographer and not assume they are a stalker!

graveyards fascinate me. not the big perfectly manicured ones....but the old, rundown forgotten ones next to buildings that may or may not be still in use. i am not obsessed with death or dying....but at times i find myself obsessing on my role on this earth. i remember once being asked to write my own epithet. i thought long and hard about it and wrote something along the lines of wonderful wife and mother to 2 amazing sons..........yadda yadda. after proudly sharing my writing brilliance - our leader looked at me right in the eye and asked why did i want to be remembered as someone else's something or other? where was *i* in that epithet?
up until that point i really never considered that i could leave my own legacy - and not latch on to those around me. i stammered and really thought about it - and at that time i could not figure out how i wanted to be remembered.

walking though the graveyards today i read the first word on the gravestones. some had the person's name. others started with daughter or father or beloved mother.....

i wondered if these people had any say in how their gravestone would read. did they want to be remembered as a person first? or were they happy to be remembered first by their role?

and what about their spot in the cemetery? some areas were filled with rows of markers. other areas had them scattered here and there. there were clusters under trees and along the stone walls and/or by gates - were they the prized spots.....offering shade to those underneath or a quick peek to drivers or walkers passing by?

for some - like my parents - where they are buried is of the utmost importance. they want to be in a mausoleum surrounded by their family....and by family i don't mean with my brother and myself - which i thought was funny.....but instead with their siblings and cousins (their parents are buried in italy) right now they visit their deceased family members - comforted by having a place to go to spend time with them. it is a beautiful thing to have such a place to visit - however it is your loved one is remembered....but then what happens 200 years from now?

who will come to your grave? how will you be remembered? will you even be remembered?

i don't have the answers to these questions and quite frankly i really don't think too much about it. i will admit that the gloomy autumn days and the celebration of all hallows eve lend themselves perfectly to thinking more about it. but i do think about my epithet once in awhile - usually when i am on the cusp of yet another level of self awareness. i still don't know would say - but one thing i do know is that i am important enough to have it be about me and not my role. i think that is hard for many women to admit or believe. maybe it comes with wisdom - the wisdom of living life. and sometimes you get that wisdom by visiting the dead.


  1. This is a fascinating and very thought provoking post. I don't see the "I" and the "roles" as being mutually exclusive. Being a mother, a wife, someone's daughter, etc. is all part of the "I" for me. It is a very critical part, in fact, because I feel so connected to those people and to how they impact me as an "I". I also think I am "I" the social worker, "I" the artist, "I" who loves the ocean, "I" who loves to hike, "I" who loves music, etc. These things and people are all about me and not necessarily my role. I don't define it as role, rather, I define it as connection with people, with the universe and with myself - that these are all in sync with and connected to each other and create the "I". P.S. I also LOVE to people watch! I find people absolutely fascinating.

  2. I LOVE these photos! They are wonderful, not spooky, but beautiful in an old graveyard sort of way! Bravo!

    I'm a people watcher too, actually, I prefer to watch and make up my own stories for them rather than mingle with them. I'm a bit of a loner.

    Loved this post!


  3. those are some gorgeous photos. nice work!

  4. Hi Lorena! I loved your photos, and what a thought provoking post; the end of life isn't always an easy thing to think about, but I also don't consider it to be morbid or frightening...once upon a time, yes. Now, not so much. After all, it's the one thing we all have in common, isn't it?
    It's been ages since I've taken the time to wander around a cemetery; I should change that!

  5. Wow, the pictures are gorgeous, and your words are very powerful. Thank you for sharing