Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Morning Momento Mori...

Talk about creepy inspiration; I live across from...well here's what I have in my profile to sum it up: "All my work is created in a loving environment across from one of the oldest, historic, Victorian cemeteries in the city, that was founded as a result of overcrowding dead bodies in the downtown burial grounds from typhoid, cholera and smallpox..."

Now in the mornings I walk with my friend, but because we part ways at 8:15, I continue on alone, and like a curious child I find my way into this grand cemetery and power walk as much as I can until an oddity catches my eye and I break to read the grave or mausoleum and take a pic.

This cemetery is old...and it's amazing to see that in particular times of American cultures, and so many others, how people have valued death, almost as equally to life. We look at Egyptians and their dedications and grandiose monument to death and the after life, the gold, the servants...we look at the Victorian burial of those with wealth and the value of having a "proper" plot to lay in. It's all very mysterious.

Today as I walked, with an eerie morning gloom, a swift autumn breeze and an open eye, I was enamored with the architecture and protection of these people's death. I also was thinking about my own mortality and remembrance. My beloved grandmother, would always say in Farsi "don't build me a martyr's shrine when I am gone." I have to say that I think I agree with that sentiment for myself, however at the same time when she left this world, I wrote poems and stories, I drew and painted, I honored her with shrines of Baba (my grandfather, Baba simply means Daddy) honored her with landscape and maintained a beautiful, creative garden of her most favorite flowers, my aunt Sholeh, began to go back to her roots as an interior designer and created a new living space with Mama's inspiration and memory in every touch...we all choose our shrines I suppose.

Anyway, check out these graves of earns, half draped with a cloth or curtain, help me find out what they represent...there are tens of these scattered through out the cemetery and you can even see in this photo two others behind it.
Then there was this awesome, most primitive grave I saw, simply a tree stump painted (?) and afixed into a cross...


Leila Marvel said...

Very beautiful. I am fond of going to cemeteries myself , my friends say oh cemeteries are so creepy and ew. I find them to be the mostly calm and relaxing places ever. I am a little mad that I didn't go to more this past summer, still some warm days left though.

Katie Crafts said...

Hey Lady! I love old graveyards too. Here is a pretty good place to start looking for what the symbols mean. Also, the draped vase is an urn with a pall, it is a very common symbol that generally means the person was deeply loved in life.