Thursday, November 7, 2013

November Graveyard 2

A few weekends back, I was driving my daughter to a slumber party close to the small town in which I grew up, and I felt an overwhelming urge to pull into a cemetery that was on the way, a cemetery that I had played in as a young child. A friend of mine had lived on the edge of the cemetery, and we used to wander among the graves, always stopping at one particular stone, which lay flat against the ground, rather than tilting haphazardly up towards the sky (as many of the other stones did in that particular section of the graveyard).

The inscription, I now realize, is a popular one, a memento mori of sorts: "Remember now as you pass by / As you are now so once was I / As I am now, so you must be / Prepare for death and follow me."
I remember standing over this stone, many times as a young girl, being haunted by its words. They were lovely in their simplicity and utterly terrifying at the very same time. I think my love of the Gothic began in this small-town graveyard, staring down at this simple stone, realizing that I wasn't always going to be young, with my bare feet in the grass, and the sun on my face. That someday, the sun would be behind me.

While in the cemetery this time, I was struck by the entire places decaying grandeur. The sky was like steel. The wind was whistling among the graves. It was a perfect day to appreciate the morbid beauty of the churchyard. A few photographs.

This set of graves, eight in all, is called the "chess set" by locals. BTW when I took this picture, my phone went black, and I couldn't get it to turn back on until I left the graveyard. 

I could only take a few (because my camera wouldn't cooperate - or something was forcing it not to). I'll be going back soon. There are too many odd stones to explore. More to come. A/J
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