Friday, July 24, 2009

Angels and Barbed Wire

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
Emily Dickinson

...late this afternoon found myself in a graveyard... enclosed...trapped...unable to return from that earthy charnel domain to the fair country of the living...

...of course I knew it would happen, eventually...as it does to everyone...but, like most, I'd hoped there'd be more time...

...as is all too clear, life gives us no guarantees...

...fortunately, the groundskeeper's phone number was on a sign by the gate...right by another one reading Gates Closed 4:30 Weekdays...that was pointed out to me, with a bit of a lecture, before he opened the gate to let me out...

...anyway, I’d known that...but had been too caught up in what I was doing to notice time...biking around the cemetery, taking pictures of angels and barbed wire...


*special thanks to the grounds staff of Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, for making this post possible*

23 comments:

Buddha said...

For a second there I thought... oh well, thanks God you are OK!
Nice pictures :)

Lea said...

Closes at 4:30? What if someone wanted to stop by after work, you know, like for some kind of anniversary remembrance?

the walking man said...

I suppose that in Philadelphia it is necessary to lock the dead in at night but I personally would have thought it more necessary in New Orleans.

Lumen et Aperio said...

Phew...thought I was going to read something about twisted bike parts and severe road rash! Just think...if you hadn't been able to get in touch with the caretaker, this post could have been about graveyard camping...does that give you any inspiration? :)

And like Lea said - closes at 4:30? So this is a graveyard with banker's hours?...

Brooks Hall said...

Wow. The angel in chains, too. I can see how you got lost in there...

JR's Thumbprints said...

If I took pictures of barbed-wire fences, they'd have me fired.

Kitty said...

i wonder if charnel grounds also have a closing time! thanks for the shot of Em D!

Deborah Godin said...

Well, call me Orpheus, but I, too, think 4:30 is too early for such an establishment to be shutting its gates...

Lydia said...

It seems unusual for a cemetery to have a closing time. Maybe I've just not paid attention and have assumed they were a 24/7/365 thing, like death.
Great shots, Jay.

Aggie said...

What an early close ... glad you found a way out ok. Love the statues.

Ruby Isabella said...

We go for a walk through a graveyard often. There are no angels, barb wire and plenty of places to get out. Only cars can be locked in. Glad to see you got another go at life.

Linnea W said...

4:30 is way to early to close this place...especially in summer. (I love photographing cemeteries) - you got some great shots of the statues; you just need one of that sign. Luckily his phone number was on it! Thanks for your visits to my blog...

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Glad they let you out!

earthtoholly said...

I especially love your first photo there, drjay. A nice angle. The chains and "bloody" face give her supposedly peaceful presence a little eerieness. You know, I really wouldn't have minded if they'd kept ya, 'cept I don't think you had your computer with ya...and that would mean no story if, I mean until, you were released...

RB said...

that happened to someone I know in NY. it's almost like a warning...

earthtoholly said...

*correction* ...and that would mean no story unless, I mean until, you were released.

Damn!

DESPERADO said...

i was too scared to read till the end of post.
All's well that ends well!

ZenYenta said...

Glad to hear that you escaped the clutch of angel of death - for now. No one gets out of here alive. Nice photos!

Ooh..my captcha letters are "hersing" like as in hearse?

Mariana Soffer said...

Great quote by dickinson. What where you doing in a cementery? Practicing for the future events?

Susan Kozlowski said...

Yes, that is a great post. I love cemetaries too. I photograph them all the time, but would get a little creeped out getting trapped in one.

Nothing Profound said...

Now your whole life you're going to be wondering what you missed by not sticking around a little longer! Courage, my friend, courage!

human being said...

still life is still... life!

you are talking about life here in a new way perhaps... and that's beautiful...

Bird said...

"A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine"

Graveyards are great places - people are dying to get in, and you are fighting to get out?

You know, a couple of months ago I was in town and suddenly found myself at the graveside of William Blake. It wasn't planned. I had tears welling up in my eyes, it was the strangest thing. I gave him dandelions.