The second of a multi-part series on cemeteries, taken from an early draft of my memoir. You can read Part I here.
The rural cemeteries can easily stay hidden, but city cemeteries pop into our way of life. They are creeping up on us, or rather, we are creeping up on them. Once they were platted well outside of city limits and away from the noise and bustle. Think of Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Woodville in Waseca, or Glenwood in Mankato. They were to be quiet, a center of calm in the midst of chaos, a place for contemplation. They were a destination, a place to go to, a Sunday afternoon gathering with family around grandma’s grave. Now urban sprawl puts them right next to split levels and playgrounds. There they lie quiet, but so loud in their stillness. We drive by, unable to ignore them. They give us the creeps and remind us of our own mortality, no matter how hard we try to look away.
carolyn porter said:
A couple of months back I went to a talk by a man named Doug Clouse who did some research on gravestone typography of the 1870s/1800s. The gravestones were beautiful and clustered around a certain region of Kansas. If you have some time, you might want to check it out. His talk is called “Not Dead but Sleepeth.” https://vimeo.com/123201452
Thanks for the suggestion, Carolyn! Sounds fascinating.
“There they lie quiet, but so loud in their stillness.”
it’s this type of sentence that i can read over and over again.
Thank you so much 🙂 You’re too kind.