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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quiet View

I visited Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena yesterday. I don't have loved ones buried there. My plan was to get a photo for Memorial Day, and I got plenty. I'll post one tomorrow, and perhaps more in the future.

Last week was stressful, and I guess I hadn't realized how much until the weekend came. Alone at the cemetery with my camera, late on a cool and cloudy day, my mind goes where it will. And it will go to thoughts of my mortality because I'm surrounded by the dead.

Why is that calming? Because I'm not dead. I'm here. Glad of it, too.

Stress be damned, I don't need it. It's a waste of my precious time.

19 comments:

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Freefalling said...

Now I'm worried!
What's going on?
Are you alright?
Why aren't you dead??
Should you be??

Petrea said...

No, I shouldn't be, I'm fine, and glad of it. It was just a long week and the cemetery was peaceful. Maybe I should reword the copy.

Now you know how I felt when you disappeared from your blog. You live too far away for me to come by and check on you.

~mona~ said...

I love Mountain View Cemetery.... it's a good place for a walk and meditation. There is something strange in the air in Pasadena this week. I don't think it's the weather. I've talked to lots of folks who say it's like things are spinning a little, well a lot, off kilter...

Rose said...

Petrea
This is a very mysterious photo. I like it...

marley said...

I posted a graveyard photo today too. Mine is a bit spookier than yours. I know what you mean about a cemmetry allowing the mind to wander. I often feel a bit melancoly when I'm at one. Thinking @whats it all about?' I've found it doesn't do to dwell.

USelaine said...

Cemeteries are a good reminder to think about what's important, and what isn't. I have a tendency to get all folded in on some problem until it becomes much too dominant in my thoughts, and it's usually not anything that would have any lasting impact on anything else. These city blogs are handy for brief teleportation, I find. You're welcome up here any time.

David said...

Petrea, When in Paris in March I spent an hour or so at Pere-lachaise cemetery with a few other tourists. It was good to be able to leave whenever I wished. Life is often stressful. Death, not so much.

Petrea said...

Hi ~mona~, thanks for commenting. Not the weather, you think? I'd have been happy to blame that, or to extend that into the fact that this weather's not right for this time of year and our clocks are off. We're animals, after all.

Thank you, Rose. I liked the back of the monument. The wings.

Marley, your photo's indeed spooky. The new one from today is, too.

I'll be there soon, uselaine.

Well put, David. I loved Pere-Lachaise. It's a serene spot. You live in Chicago! I used to. More in common.

David said...

Petrea, I grew up on Chicago's north side. Lived across the street from Lincoln Park zoo and around the corner from Wrigley Field. I live in one of the suburbs now but still love the city and all that it has to offer.

Knoxville Girl said...

Petrea,this is a very moody shot, I like that you took it from the back of the statue - just seeing wings does set the mind to wondering...and wandering.
Here's something that helps me with stress - you can do it along with me if you like: breathe in...deeper...now hold it in...no, keep holding... now exhale. Feel better? Oxygen is your friend!

Petrea said...

David, I grew up in DeKalb, went to U of I, then lived in different north side neighborhoods for ten years after I graduated. You can take the girl out of the Midwest, but...

Oh yes, knoxville girl. I spent some time in yoga today doing a good deal of that and it helped a lot. I should remember it more often.

Dina said...

Shalom Petrea,
Hey, you lived on the North Side? Me too, my first 22 years.
Was this angel male or female? Nice pair of wings.
I actually followed your link and was drawn to click on the cemetery's "Merchandise." Oi!
Thanks for this post.

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" hopes this week will find your stress meter in the green rather than red zone!

Bernie K. said...
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Petrea said...

Shalom, Dina. Yes, Burling & Wrightwood, also on Wayne Street north of Foster. Both lovely old places. The angel is female, I'd guess. She's rather formidable from the front. I clicked on the merchandise, too! Was disappointed that they didn't include prices...

Merci Louis, I'm already better.

Timothy Rutt, www.altadenablog.com said...

hey, petrea ...

Mountain View Cemetery and the mausoleum are where I like to go when I'm trying to think. They're probably the quietest places in town, and it puts you in perspective, surrounded as you are by remembrances of mortality. There are stories beneath every stone and behind every plaque, and I'd like to know what they are. I remember one afternoon when I spotted pinwheels and bright balloons on one grave -- it was on the grave of a girl whose birthdate was two months or so after that of my youngest daughter (who is four now). There was so much loss and sadness mixed with happiness and renewal all in one place.

Now, if you want spooky -- go inside the mausoleum!

Petrea said...

Beautifully said, Timothy.

I'll check out the mausoleum on a bright, sunny day when I'm not alone...

Lydia said...

Great post. My aunt died on Memorial Day and it makes me glad to be alive, also.
I hope somebody decorated your dad's gravesite, too.