Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Trip to the Cemetery

Sausage Von Trapp and I have several things in common but one of the more striking is our love for cemeteries. Old cemeteries especially.  It's fun to just visit old and forgotten cemeteries and look at the grave-sites, read the inscriptions and just wonder about the people who are under foot. And to take photos, lots of photos.   I find a serene beauty in cemeteries, their tombstones works of art and often case in older sites, poetry in the epitaphs. Armed today with cameras (my little Fisher-Price model compared to her Space Shuttle model) we went to Tuscaloosa Alabama's oldest cemetery to have a look around...

We wandered to the older part of the cemetery snapping pictures left and right when a particular stone caught Sausage's eye.  What's so special about this particular monument? How about the inscription...

Stranger attend as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you must be,
Prepare-For you must follow me.
To joy above or pain below,
Then ever stand prepared to go.
Sausage called me over and asked if that was what was on one of my tombstones in my yard because it looked familiar. My jaw dropped, I didn't even know it was a legitimate epitaph much less it being here in my proverbial back yard.  This was one of my oldest tombstone's epitaph that I still use in the Final Unresting Place.  This, of course, made my millennium.

Either Sarah Mallory had a solemn warning or had a sense of humor to have that on her gravestone.  I wish that I could have found out more about her but time had destroyed all but the top of the inscription.

I would encourage you to go visit cemeteries, particularly older ones.  They are quite fascinating.  You see motifs that had meaning to our ancestors that are on their grave markers, some being quite beautiful...

I am familiar with some, like the dove could mean a soul's flight but does anyone know anything about some of the others?


Auburn haired artist said...

My favorite place to spend an afternoon is at the cemetary. Ever since my kids were tiny, when the sun was shining and the weather fair, I'd pack a lunch and we'd go to the cemetary to play.
I used to have a site book marked that listed all the various gravestone symbols and their meanings. I'll see if I can track it down for you.

halloween spirit said...

Such beautiful carvings! I love old tombstones.

Mr.Macabre said...

Auburn Haired Artist, that would be so kind of you! I grew up next to a cemetery, (although the stones weren't extremely old it was still a nice cemetery) which probably accounts for my fondness for them.

jaz said...

oooooooo...i just love cemeteries. thanks for the trip!

Print Postcards | Jarmaine said...

Oh, I've always been somewhat wary of cemeteries, somehow they make me sad. But these tombstone carvings are really beautiful. I never thought of actually going to a cemetery and looking at all the different ones (at daytime of course, no night trips for me, too scared haha) Now, that's definiteyl a thought, thanks!

Lynette said...

so nice to meet you
i love graveyards too
i always found this was where i would go to get away from it all the silence and calm there
btw--so understand the yo yo of diets.
hope you win the give away