Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Postmortem

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My walk through Flushing cemetery in Queens was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We drove a few miles to the place and entered through the front gate. It was a very overcast day and only after I had taken many photos did I realize that it would have been better to visit on a sunny day.

It was quiet and empty, a Friday, just a week after the holidays when people might have visited to place Christmas flowers. I stayed in the older part of the cemetery (it had opened in 1853 for the residents of Flushing village which had been decimated by a cholera epidemic). The stones and statuary here would be much more detailed and decorative. The newer, present-day parts of the place contained very simple markers which is the style these days.

As I walked among the graves I began to linger to read what had been written on the headstones. The dates, the sentiments. Angels were in abundance and so were draped urns that suggested deep grief and mortality. I became aware that here I was, walking on hallowed ground, such ground that held the remains of people who had had real lives, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. I felt comfortable in this peaceful place.

The figure above while she has no wings is probably an angel. In one hand she holds a cut lily and in the other a plucked rose. They are meant to represent the fragility of life and the early severance of a life in bloom.

maryt/theteach

6 comments:

maryt/theteach said...

A very overcast day at Flushing Cemetery in Queens, N.Y. Non-sectarian.

Gaelyn said...

What a beautiful memorial. Old cemetaries are a peaceful place to walk.

splummer said...

Hi Mary,
Your angel is beautiful! My Granny is buried in a really old cemetery. There are folks from the Civil War buried there. And it very peaceful walking through the cemetery. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great week!!

Sherrie

maryt/theteach said...

There are Civil war veterans as well as Korean and Vietnam veterans buried in this cemetery, Sherrie.

Julie said...

Beautiful. The skill it took to make that.

Carrizo said...

All what You showed tu us, they are so beautiful. I like Your sequence of visiting cemeteries.

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