Gathering in the Cemetery-PantheonLast modified: December 19, 2016
85… The moment has arrived and we are there…
Patinas of passing time, an unavoidable ornamentation, take over the graves. Here, across the way, a new body has arrived. From this point on they will always be here. At any time they will be available for visits as their great-grand children become great-grand parents.
It is another day in the graveyard. Not just another day… but another day. It has been this way since 1794 when this plot of land was deemed the municipal cemetery.
The priest in a baseball cap performs in an ancient tongue a ritual that goes back thousands of years. No one needs to understand the words being spoken. The need for these words to be spoken is what is understood. It is hard for most in attendance to hear anything but the thoughts swirling in their minds and pulsing with each heart beat.
And they are gone… the last look says so… the last touch confirms… this is a tender moment… this is life… and life leads to one place, death, and here we are this morning…
Folks had come from far and wide to attend the services. One can see the deceased’s connections and social standing by attending the graveyard service. For some it is a throng with paid assistants and sub-contractors. For other it is a few friends and, or, family that volunteer to dig the grave and offer their regards in quiet prayer. For the dead the ride is much the same.
Each brick adds to the finality. For the living this is an opportunity to come together with friends and family. With the passing of a love one they see their own tribe standing shoulder to shoulder. The moment goes beyond the dead and becomes the living, In a way they have come to say that they are alive, “we are here”.
And soon the mourners will go their separate ways. They were united once again by the passing of one of their own. They had stopped what they were doing and made the time and way to come together, once again, as one.
From dust to dust, the world goes on, today becomes another footnote in the wind. The flowers will wilt and dry away under a tropical sun. At some graves there will always be fresh flowers until the day no one is left to bring flowers.
Graveyards are a special place: they are public art, they are public history and they are markers of their own civilization. And another day begins… and somewhere out there someone is dying and somewhere near here someone is being born. In the end it is all about this precious balance we call life.
It is another day in the graveyard. Not just another day… but another day. It has been this way since 1794 when this plot of land was deemed the municipal cemetery. Graveyards are a special place: they are public art, they are public history and they are markers of their own civilization. And another day begins… and somewhere out there someone is dying and somewhere near here someone is being born. In the end it is all about this precious balance we call life.
Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.
A mourning mother’s deep wails, crows cawing – perched on white crosses…
It is a warm spring day as we explore the “Pantheon” – (Cemetery) on the road to the Sierra Madres, minutes east of the Colonial Center. The ages speak here. Be it ancient mountain sounds or human voices, mourning and celebrating since 1794. All is timeless, and all thoughts are a point on our circle of life.
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