I had a chance to watch a documentary on PBS this week entitled "Silent Storytellers." Silent Storytellers explores the history, culture, and importance of preserving Arkansas cemeteries. As I watched the program my head was nodding and I was feeling less an odd ball. You see, I enjoy wandering around cemeteries with my camera. There I've said it out loud. I've received comments suggesting that I'm weird, I'm disrespectful, and that being in a cemetery where I "knew" no one seemed intrusive. After watching the documentary I decided to explain my fascination with cemeteries.
Recently I visited the Pleasant Grove Cemetery which was established in 1878. Some of the oldest stones are faded, with names and dates difficult to read; more than a few have toppled, not from vandalism but from decay and from tree roots pushing up over the decades. I was anxious to walk around, but instead of grabbing my camera, I sat on one of the benches, relaxed, and just did a little thinking. Why do I like to be in a cemetery? What draws my attention? Why do I like to take pictures here? Then, I pulled out my journal and wrote.
(The arched monument symbolizes the pathway to heaven.)