13 May 2006

The final homecoming

M has never been one of those photographers who, through the course of her artistic development, felt the need to take photographs in cemeteries. There are only so many images of backlit angel statues shot on weird angles that one can take.

Walking from J’s house in Berlin, we arrived at a cemetery just down the road and entered through the gates into one of the most beautiful graveyards that M has ever seen. High trees give the appearance of woodlands, with lots of greenery and shrubs planted
on and around the graves. Most of the headstones are low marble squares engraved in gold script; simply stating the name and years of birth and death.

To one side of the cemetery is a crematorium that has a row of stable-like rooms built in a right angle around a grass square which is planted at the 4 corners with rhododendron bushes.

Upon closer inspection, it transpired that the rooms were full of wall plaques and urns. Behind the plaques and in the urns are the ashes of many of Berlin’s deceased citizens. We walked through the place and felt enormous love – it was a peaceful place. Reading the inscriptions brought the realisation that there were many urns which bore several members of the same family. As each family member died, their bodies were cremated and added to the urn – a sense of coming home to the family’s final resting place.

We’ve been there twice now, to walk around and feel the peace. After one of the most stressful weeks that we’ve ever experienced, we need all the peace and love that we can get – even if it comes from a bunch of dead people whom we’ve never known!


sky said...

Love the pics.
It's so strange how different people can find peace in such different places.
A place that can awaken a person's fears and anxieties can be someone else's haven. It's a nice thought.

Hope things are no longer too stressful!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Whenever I visit a city, I try to visit a cemetary. I find it the most fascinating experience because reading the names on the tombs is like reading the history of people living there. You never know what you will find in a cemetary. Hmmm might post about a cemetary in Rome...

I hope things get a bit more calm and easy for both of you. Say hi to M and tell her one whiff of "our perfume" and she will feel all fresh and clean. ;)

Jassim said...

There is nothing more certain in life, than death..which is strangly comforting. No?