recycle or reincarnate
Last autumn, we went to the cemetery as an outing on a Sunday afternoon, having heard that it was absolutely frightening up there... that is to say, the union city/cemetery workers had been on strike since the spring and there had been no work done up there in months... the whole city was up in arms, not only because the cemetery was very unkept and completely over-grown, but because the newly-departed loved ones were unable to be buried, because of not being able to cross the picket lines... crazy stuff... It's totally amazing to us that this was part of our everyday world and no one could do anything about it and so it became part of our common experience. It's amazing to me that we as a society can accept things and allow them to happen and somehow put our hands in the air and say, oh well, there's nothing we can do about it... but bitch...
And so, after having avoided the situation for months, (we don't get the paper or listen to the news at all... and so get our daily events from family and friends...) we decided to see what all the fuss was about... and what an adventure it turned out to be.
The place was a wonderland to an artist's eyes... but, not so fun for family members whose loved ones were buried under feet of tall grasses. We found a complete mess... what a great statement it all made: decay, disarray, death, memorials, all along this wonderful mountain top at the center of our fabulous city. And so, I began to think about the necessity of taking these incredible amounts of acres of beautiful land and burying dead bodies there... with all the graves stones barely visible it seems questionable to me about the value of this long-standing ritual... why was it necessary to us as humans? what was it about?
And so as we moved through the tall grasses, further and further up the hill we found an open field with nothing... I was intrigued and went straight for it... once I got there and as I walked around, I fell into a slight hole, and then another and another... it took me a while to discover that there were small flat graves under my feet... older graves stones, flush to the ground that had been buried under several feet of leaves and tall vegetaion... what a find!
I proceeded to unearth these markers one by one in a row! my hands filthy from the wet soil and mildew! But, I LOVED it...
I cried out to my husband to record the moment, and so, these photos were originally taken by my husband Sol Lang for me. I tweaked them... working on these photos lovingly and respectfully until their meaning became clear to me.
This is about recycling and reincarnation. We are recycling our bodies and feeding the earth. Giving back in a sense. Allowing our souls to also recycle or reincarnate!