...and then Magic happens
Joined: 26 Nov 2003 Posts: 4104
[META] - changing views on cemeteries? A few people have mentioned that being in the cemeteries and doing the favors changed their views.
My own views, which were basically that cemeteries are to be avoided, ignored or turned away from, changed in part when I saw the amazing mausoleums in the Evergreen Cemetery. I would never have gone out there alone. Going with bagsbee and solving the clues for the favor, made me feel comfortable there. I started to be very curious about the people buried there and what their lives had been.
So when we had the live event here in NYC, I was fine with playing poker in the cemetery, and interested in the place.
Today, I decided to take some roses down to the graveyard at St. Paul's Chapel in Manhattan. I got 4 dozen roses on sale. When I got there, the place was crowded with tourists. I forgot to mention that St. Paul's is directly across from the World Trade Center site and has an exhibit about the role it played in the recovery efforts.
I felt no hesitation at all in placing the flowers. I felt comfortable slowly walking through one of the oldest graveyards in New York City, placing one flower on each grave and looking across at the WTC site. After I did that, I went back to try to lean the flowers against the headstones so they were more prominent.
People watched what I was doing. After I placed the flowers, some people started to look more closely at the stones and wander off the paths a bit themselves. Several took pictures of one or more of the old gravestones with the rose against it.
(Wandering off the paths is OK, I checked first to be certain putting down the flowers was permitted.) There is a tree that was planted in 1933 or so, in memory of George Washington, but to see the plaque for it, you have to wander off the path. People noticed that too.
I felt that I was doing a positive thing, honoring the graves and the people buried there. I am thinking of doing that again, the next time I go to a cemetery.
So I was wondering if anyone else would care to share their feelings or experiences of doing the favors and how that may have changed their views about cemeteries?
I love this site for being free, in every sense of the word~Spacebass
Mankind was my business, the common good was my business.~ Dickens
Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:15 pm
Official uF Dietitian
Joined: 02 Dec 2002 Posts: 7570 Location: My own alternate reality
And sometimes a visit can bring back memories (both good and bad).
I wasn't looking, but I think that Ariel found me.
Her mother's trial was happening just last month. Here is the verdict.
Anyway, here is her headstone. I paid my respects and it made me feel a little better.
r u a Sammeeeee? I am Forever!
Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:06 pm
Joined: 24 Sep 2004 Posts: 1139 Location: Chapel Hill, NC
We talked about this some at the Atlanta event today.
Imbri and I agreed that we take the time to look at the tombstones now, rather than at best powering through to the one grave we wanted to visit.
And I personally am much more comfortable with just strolling around them and observing.
Gamertag: thunderclap 8 (note the space)
Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:40 pm
Joined: 22 Aug 2004 Posts: 1518 Location: Austin, TX
Most of the time, the graveyards I go to, when I go to one, are very very old.
When I visited the UK I knelt down on graves and took rubbings of the brass markers over them. One of which, John D'Aubernon (sp), was the oldest known surviving "military brass".
I have stood on the head of "Oh Rare Ben Johnson", in Westminster Abby. The poor guy couldn't afford a full plot so they interred him standing up. ...Shakespeare might have said that Ben couldn't afford a full plot in any of his plays either. But that's neither here nor there.
Orange County isn't a very old place. And seeing a marker with a person who was born the day after I was, or of a person who died last week gives me pause. People don't go to Harbor Lawn for the historical value excatly. So it's a different vibe altogether. Not that those places weren't solemn, or that I didn't have a concept of where I was when I was sitting on top of ol' John in Surry "rubbing his brass". But, it's a very different vibe.
On top of that, not long after the game started, a family member got very sick and went into the hospital, so the idea of traipsing around a grave yard rather lost it's luster.
But I'm glad that a) I didn't have to go alone. And b) that I did go.
It's okay. I'm okay. And my relative is also okay by the way.
"COVERED IN BEES!"
Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:49 pm
I Never Tire of My Own Voice
Joined: 26 Sep 2002 Posts: 3635 Location: Is not Chicago
I've always felt that cemeteries were a nice place to spend a bit of life force - my mom would take me and my brother to St. Adalbert's so she could visit her mother and father. Sometimes, her emotion would overwhelm me and I'd feel that kind of discomfort that one can feel as a kid when confronted with something much bigger than onself, but mostly, it felt good to walk a short distance away and search for pine cones on the ground.
I had to help bury my aunt just about a year ago, and the gravesite her husband and kids chose was right at the edge of the cemetery, looking onto the backyards of some houses, one of which had a couple of black labs running and playing. They thought the dogs would keep her company, and I like that thought.
The two Chicago-specific small favors felt kinda special to me for their own reasons, and I found myself placing a bit of myself at each spot I stopped to take a moment to look and absorb. I dunno, it's hard to explain. Sometimes we were asked to leave tokens or notes or drawings, but many times I left a grave the way it was, but walked away feeling lighter.
It still amazes me how major expressways can run right alongside some of these places, but when you're there, there's nothing but the sound of your own thoughts, your footsteps on the ground, and maybe some birds. Lonely, sad, self-sufficient, orderly, ramshackle, tended-to, final.
Stories and dreams, crossing my palm like silver.
xbl gamertag: krystyn
Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:36 am
I Have No Life
Joined: 02 Dec 2002 Posts: 2450 Location: South of where I used to be
I'll admit that I've mostly ignored cemeteries my whole life. Nearly all of the cemeteries I've visited in the last 10 years have been visited because they were artistically or architecturally interesting. My parents have never been the type to visit gravesites and so I was brought up the same way. I've always held the view that the people who died aren't really there at the gravesite so I didn't need to be at a cemetery to "visit" them.
I was talking to Rose in chat about how LCP changed alot of this. When I went to the local cemetery with my daughter for my first round of small favors, I was surprisingly affected. Many of the graves in the back of the cemetery were completely ignored, broken or covered with leaves and dirt. A few of them were so old and weathered you couldn't even read the names. I felt very sad for those people. Looking at other nearby graves with massive holiday-specific decoration displays, I felt sad that these ignored resting places were probably never visited or got as much as a rose placed on their stones.
My daughter and I cleaned off all of the older gravesites and we talked about the people who were buried there. I thought she would be too young to understand at 3, but she showed an amazing amount of understanding and caring.
"I still miss him to this day and probably always will." - Todd Keeler, Chasing the Wish
"meta meta meta, I made you out of play..." ~ j5
Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:30 am
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