Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pere Lachaise Cemetery - Part Two

I left you hanging a few days ago. When you last tuned in, the family was going around in circles, quasi-lost, in search of Jim Morrison. Through the kindness of strangers, Sam had acquired a map that he hoped would lead us to his longed for destination.

He's so desperate, he's even allowing a girrrrrrl, Kyla, to help him plan the best route.

Here we are, we found it. It's not a very impressive grave aesthetically. It is undoubtedly the most popular grave for tourists. They must have a lot of people trying to take pieces off the grave or doing other vandalism as they have a guard standing sentry just to the side. It annoys me that people can't behave themselves. Sheesh.

I feel sorry for his parents. To them he's not just a musical icon, he's a son. And they have to put up with his celebrity status, even in a place that should be a private, reflective place.

After finding Jim Morrison's grave, we wandered on. These porcelain (ceramic?) floral displays are very popular in the Paris cemeteries I visited. I think they're beautiful. From the moss, you can see these have been here for a very long time. They're becoming organic and part of the grave over time.

We started out in the lower area. According to the map, the other graves we were hoping to find were in the upper area.

Another beautiful statue.

And the close up.

This tomb had beautiful gold trim on it.

Towards the far back, or perhaps this would be considered towards one side in relation to the main gate, not sure as we came in another way, it becomes less private. Although I think once those trees in the back come into leaf, it's more reclusive. We did find Edith Piaf's grave up in this area. It was modest for such a well known French persona. I found it sweet that a couple of young women, in their late teens or perhaps early twenties, came across her grave at the same time we did and exclaimed with delight. I know she is not a singer of the most recent generation and yet these young women were still enamored of her.

I liked the small figurines around the columns of this tomb. They were really diminutive. I know they were probably supposed to be monks but they reminded me of jawas (those little sand guys in the first Star Wars movie... er, I guess now the fourth Star Wars, but made first. Argh, it's so confusing.) Each one was slightly different. No mass production in those days. This one has a book.

This one was chilly, he's got his hands tucked inside his robe.

Not sure if she's protecting those inside the tomb from those on the outside or protecting those on the outside from those inside.

I have no idea what that is in his hand. A car oil filter? A fan? A rolodex? Does he want to get a head start on his social life in the afterlife? What I liked is it seemed like a really nice resting spot tucked in amongst the sheltering branches of a nearby tree.

You can see the back of the piece has been damaged. I liked the moss against the white stone.

One more particular grave we hoped to find, Oscar Wilde. I have to admit I've never read Oscar Wilde. All I know about him stems from a short film about his grave in the film collection that makes up Paris, je T'aime. If you love Paris, or just independent and unique films, it's a must see. From there, I googled more about him. He's now on my To Read list. So, did we find his grave? You'll find out in Pere Lachaise Cemetery - Part Three. Stay tuned.


Blogger Barbara said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I have to come back tonight and re-visit this when I have more time!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Alikat said...

I love the photo of the statue guarding the gate. It reminds me very much of the living statues and half expected it to be one. Beautiful photography all round.


1:24 PM  

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