Ah cemeteries, they are odd places for many but places of peace for a lot more. The idea of walking above the living can be an awfully strange thought. When you stop to think about it, under your feet are the remains of those who walked above the dirt at one time. They are looking up at you, breathing and living in ways that they would surly want to experience too. And you look down at them and wonder what that moment when life ended felt like. It is a strange place for sure.
I have come to enjoy walking the grounds of the many different and wonderful cemeteries of the New York area. I look for the names of the famous and the not so famous. Those who names we still remember and those who have been forgotten. Lost to time are many and its those stories that I look for the most. Most do not have a story anymore, headstones that have been worn away by the wind and rain. Plots that have fallen in bad shape because no one is around to remember them anymore. I walk hour after hour and I try to give a little time to those who time has really passed them by
On a windy and cold Monday I drove to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn to walk and do some thinking. It was a beautiful day and the blue skies made for a fine day as we get closer to winter. But that wind, the kind of wind that chills you right to the bone, it whipped and howled as it ran down thru the trees. Leaves caught and thrown the paths as you walked. It was as fine of a fall day that you could find.
I thought about my own life and where it is heading, as you run deep into your 40’s these type of thoughts creep into your mind. Up and down hills I went with only eye to carry me on. I snapped pictures as I went and finally when the wind became too much I went home. This was my journey and my thoughts on that Monday in November of 2020.
Walking the path, wind blowing and trying my best not to step on droppings from the birds.
A forgotten headstone whose words have been cleaned away. Who is under the ground. What was there life like? Did they have moments of joy and pain? Worn away was the name that was once spoken by many tongues.
Who was little Mary? I sometimes run into graves like this and there isn’t normally much information as to who is there but I always wonder. How old was Mary and what happened. It must have been a tragic event.
Old boss Tweed, the head of the political machine known as Tammany Hall. The group ran New York City for a long time and one of its many heads was the man who buried here, William M. Tweed. He is one those figures from the history of New York City that really draws me in for reason that I’m unsure of at times. He was ruthless and as corrupt as a man could get but also helped to shape the city towards what it became. I’m sure most pass by or dont know who he was but I stopped, not to pay respect but act knowledge the history before me.
Much like Little Mary above, I have to wonder who was Bessie and what happened to her. The pain that her death unleashed must have been a storm for a stone to remake those words says a lot. It wasn’t just a name and some dates but a message that she was ours..our Bessie.