|The poet Baudelaire's cenotaph, Montparnasse Cemetery Paris. A cenotaph is an empty grave. Baudelaire is actually buried in a different division of the same cemetery.|
But what does this have to do with cemeteries? Well, it was a practice with some Native Americans to erect scaffolds high up in the old cottonwood trees and leave their dead on them, so that nature could take its course. Once the body became mummified, they'd retrieve the bones and bury them someplace else. So my entire neighborhood might be a giant graveyard.
This month, NPR, National Public Radio, has been doing pieces on interesting cemeteries around the world, in a program called "Dead Stop"--"A summer road trip visiting strange, funny, historic and notable gravesites and cemeteries." This is right up my alley, and I've enjoyed each and every one of their installments.
|Old grave (note the symbols of the hour glass and skull) in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Ephrata, PA.|
|Holocaust Memorial to those buried in unknown places, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris|
|Possibly the oldest graveyard I've ever seen (I haven't gotten to the pyramids yet)--"The Alyscamps" in Arles, France. This was a Roman stronghold, and these are their empty sarcophagi.|
|Wild Bill Hickock's grave, Deadwood, South Dakota|