Monday, October 26, 2009

St. Helena Cemetery

Haven't posted for a few days - football and also a cold bug has cut my energy level in half. I'm trying to muddle through but also trying to take it easy so it doesn't get a serious hold on me. Ugh.

But, I have lots more cemetery photos to share from our recent Sonoma/Napa trip. Plenty of Post Spooky material.

The largest cemetery we visited was the St. Helena Cemetery in St. Helena, Napa County. It was a beautiful shady 25 acre site, and was clearly well cared for, much loved, and frequently visited. The community has a lot of Italian, Hispanic, and French population and it showed even here amongst the resting.

For some reason this photo makes me think of the now iconic image used for the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (a movie I loved, although I really need to read the book too.)

Doesn't really look the same, does it. Don't know why I pair them in my mind. Strange mind.

The first thing I usually look for when I visit a cemetery is the angels. They're my favorite, probably because, being "human" images, they have a lot of "presence".

These mourners are very French, we saw a lot of them in the Paris cemeteries. Hmmm, I should have checked the name on the gravestone - is it French? I can't quite make it out but it looks to be.

This one reminded me of a decorated iced cake, such a smooth finish. Also, reminds me of all those Marie Antoinette lovers out there in bloglandia. This would make a great addiction.. er, addition (good Freudian slip of the fingers there) to someone's Marie Antoinette collage, yes?

Just pretty. Although, when that gate opens, are all those little balls gonna roll down and fall, like in a pinball game?

I always like the metal work I find in cemeteries. Was it originally painted a somber black? They remind me of little beds, perhaps it comforted people to think of their loved ones slumbering in something less gravelike.

This one just touched my heart. No specific names, just the relationship. I can see Hubby and I like this. Or rather, not. Because I don't really have plans to be buried in a grave. I need "my space" - cremation and then scatter me to all the beautiful places I loved all over the world. Typical me, Hubby would say, the more independent one. He's the true romantic of us both. Hubby wants to be buried though. With a gravestone. Maybe I could have a bit of my ashes buried with him. He'd like that. I'd give him something this beautiful if I could although, I assume this would cost a small fortune nowadays.

Lambs are often used on children's graves. This one sleeps in a giant shell. I like the ocean themed symbols - I think of death as somewhat like returning to, merging with the greater ocean of life. Not to be lost as part of it, but to be less separated from. (just a sense, a feeling, clearly I have no inside track on this, your guess is undoubtedly as good as mine)

More shell symbolism. There were lots of these little "entrances" into family plots. I liked them.

Another lamb - although this one with the unbobbed tail and those eyes... it was a bit creepy.

Interject humor here - do these look like a pair of perky breasts to you? Yeah, I knew I wasn't the only one who saw that.

The gravestones aren't the only interesting things in cemeteries. I like the grounds themselves. There were some beautiful trees in this cemetery. There was a tree guy there on this day too, trimming some grand old oaks. We chatted for a bit.

I liked this "cauldron" tree. Another good death symbol, returning to the cauldron of life.

This seemed to be carved by human hands. I see cherubs and such all huddled in a loving embrace. Maybe they were nature spirits that keep watch over this place, maybe this is where they sleep, unassuming, when humans are about in the daytime hours.

And then there's the classic "spooky" tree. This one certainly fits that category. I'd love a photo of it at twilight.

More photos from here but I think it's probably time to refill your coffee or tea, yes? I'll share more another time.


Blogger Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

I don't know where to begin b/c I could probably comment on all these photos:) The spooky tree is excellent - love it! I really enjoy looking at graves in different areas of the world to see the cultural influence. Lots of German around me.
I too want my ashes scattered around the world in all my favorite places.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Julie ZS said...

I'm with you Laume, scatter me please!
The lambs are very creepy to me for some reason, not sure why. Sometimes the angels are too, depends on their expressions I guess.
Beautiful trees!

6:04 PM  
Blogger dustbunny8 said...

Exquisite!Thank you for sharing these,you have a good eye.

6:23 PM  
Blogger mermaiden said...

very intriguing and lovely. it made me remember that when i was a teenager on the east coast, there was a cemetery at the top of the hill. i would go there on occasion, but it always felt like i was tempting something by going. found some very old graves there from the 1700's. one had my last name on it, my family was not from that area and my maiden name was not a common one...

7:03 PM  

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