Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Graveyards: A Memory in Photos

Deep within the Acropolis at Glasgow, Scotland. There is life to death.

Western culture, these days anyway, often associates graveyards with fright, fear ad misfortune. They are a place where teens go to scare each other and what often decorate lawns during the festival of Halloween (except made of plasitc, wood or plaster, rather than proper stone, or even, marble, for the wealthy sorts).

Between graves in Montmatre, Paris.
In reality, graveyards are a place for deep contemplation and remembrance. A bit like the churches, which are usually attached, are meant for. (Though they are admittedly fantastic places to dive in, from out of a downpour).

Plus you don't have to be religious to appreciate contemplation and remember people of the past, you just need to be human.

One thing all humans have in common?

In the seemingly distant future that is impossibly hard to comprehend whether you are on the tail end or the ear tips, we will all pass on. Eventually.

After all, in the words of the great Terry Pratchett (from the mouth of his greatest character and who has just passed on recently himself):

Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Whatever we pass on too is, of course, up for eternal debate. It's what humans spend life doing and it's what makes the world go 'round.

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.”
Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent   

Either way, at some point we'll all go stomach up, like fish (but not really, that's just a metaphor thank you), and our presence will cease to exist on this particular plane.

For me, graveyards take on further meaning and more purpose than remembering the impermence of humanity or honouring the greats who came before me.

Graveyards provide a place to draw inspiration for characters in the written and visual mediums.

What follows are a few of my favourite graveyards in terms of the unique characters found there, or the general qualities of the grounds or grave stones, in these quiet but oft misunderstood environs.

This is the life beyond the grave...

Dance to the tune of Symphonie Fantastique in Montmartre Cemetery, Paris, France.

Be wary of the sentinels.
Break from the forest of the London metropolis and into the memories of Latimer.
Rest a while among the grasses of the beloved of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Remember. Don't scare the guardians. This is crucial.

And don't forget to visit the greats gone before. (Oxford, Oxfordshire)

So long and thanks for all the fish who have swam the seas of before. Now go. Just keep swimming. It'll be your turn soon enough.

They watch over us. Somewhere. Somewhen. In a somehow of some here.

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