Thursday, November 11, 2010

PHOTO ESSAY: Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise

Lester was kickin' up water on my pant legs from the rain soaked streets of Paris in early November. With some sizable sun breaks the other afternoon we rushed towards Cimetiere Pere Lachaise, an old, large, and rather famous cemetery in the 20th arrondissement.
Walking through the massive entrance, I thought of the many who passed through the same entrance fondly remembering loved one(s), now laid to rest, of course many came without such heavy thoughts but rather there to pay respect to the legend of Oscar Wilde or the countless musical pilgrims, visiting the grave of Jim Morrison. I was there because i was told it was a beautiful setting with elaborately designed headstones
Every corner of the cemetery was covered in big beautiful leaves. Having shaded the deceased during the hot summer months they now gather among the graves, having run their own cycle. Resting in peace... until a Frenchman comes with a loud blower and rounds them up.

Grave of Jim Morrison

On my way through the cemetery I walked past several crows. The way they hopped, swopped, floated and danced from grave to grave I couldnt help but appreciate how much they seemed to belong there among the dead, dressed in black, a chaotic procession of wings.


Spokane Al said...

I was there years ago in the form of a pilgrim visiting the late Lizard King's grave. In seeing your most recent photo I noticed that his bust has disappeared.

megan mcdonald said...

beautiful, brad. i love cemeteries. you've done an amazing job of capturing the dull radiance of such a place. i used to go to cemeteries to write. odd, I know, but...i always get inspired thinking about how many stories lie among the crows and get tossed around in the wind. it always seemed so poetic how graveyards are there for the living more than the dead...

Anonymous said...

Found this site via Brad Reynolds, SJ.
Was at Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise a number of years ago, it was a rainy day,with lots of puddles! However, as my father left me an autograph book with a signature by Sarah Bernhardt I felt I had to see her stone.

Brad said...

Hey Spokane Al- that's right- the bust of Morrison was stolen in '88 and according to what I read, the Croatian artist has created a bronze replacement to be put back at the lizard King's grave (pending a license agreement).

Megan- 'Tossed around in the wind' is very true, so many silent stories resting next to each other.

And to the friend of my good friend Reynolds, glad you made it see Berhardt's stone, I admit I was very turned around in that massive cemetery, so I considered it a victory that I even found Morrison's grave. It's a maze in there!

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