Roots and headstones

June 11, 2013

To me, this looks like the tree is embracing the (monuments of the) dead in a loving embrace.

tree with graves

I tried to describe it to someone during a telephone conversation, and she found the image sinister and horrifying.  I said, but it reminded me of the character in the Nutcracker ballet who hides the bon-bons (danced by children) beneath her skirts.  I don’t think she was convinced.

In any event, it’s an arresting image, I think.

The cemetery is in Lexington, MA, off Mass. Ave. near the Common, adjacent to St. Brigid’s Church.  When I took this photograph, there was a class or two of elementary school children swarming the cemetery with their teachers, which lent a different air to the graveyard.  But the image had come to me on a previous visit, after I had noticed a large gravestone for multiple children who had died all at about the same time.

children's grave

I like that, that after paying my respects to this monument to these youngsters during a previous visit, when I came back to photograph it and the graves among the tree roots above, there were live youngsters in their midst.  A very clear expression of the idea that life does indeed go on.


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