I first saw the cemetery when the bus took us past it last month. Since then I have been `dying` to see it. I will be going home on Thursday, so I decided to go there this morning. The weather was not great but at least it was not raining.
I sneaked in through a side door – I didn`t want people to think that I am being disrespectful. I was not trying to photograph people but I was looking for artistic photos. People might think that I am weird and maybe I am but I love to go to cemeteries. It reminds me that life is fragile. All the people buried there had a story, a life and people that loved them.It intrigues me. I love to find the old graves and to read the inscriptions. Thinking and wondering….
When I walked into the cemetery I couldn`t believe all the beautiful, fresh flowers! They were everywhere. It was wonderful and lifted the sombre mood. This is the second cemetery that I have visited in Argentina. The biggest one is in La Recoletta in Buenos Aires. I have never seen anything like that before. This cemetery is much bigger and very different. It has far less tombs and is more personal.
I stopped many times to admire the flowers. Once I even reached out to touch it, because it looked so real and I wanted to see if it was…it was!
As I turned the corner a man came up to me and asked me if I needed help. He was friendly at first and when I told him I was here to take photos for my Blog he wasn`t that friendly any more. I explained to him that I am looking for some very old graves and would like to photograph it, if I may. He lightened up and took me to one that dated back to 1906. In fact, I was looking for this one because one year ago I visited the Dubois Museum and read that the man was buried here. I was happy to have found it.
He took me to two more that dated back to the early 1900`s.
I really liked the peaceful atmosphere and walked around for a while. I saw some interesting things and I was very happy to see that people take care of the graves of their loved ones. In South Africa so many people want to, but it is becoming too dangerous.
I am not sure if the Spaniards influenced this but you will find that rich people built tombs where they buried all their family members. This is very much evident in Buenos Aires in La Recoletta Cemetery with huge tombs everywhere. Poor people were buried some place else. Although these tombs are beautiful, they need to be maintained. If not, they become the liability of somebody else. I have seen some tombs that are almost falling apart. It is my personal opinion that this could not be hygienic at all. A chat later to the `unfriendly` man, confirmed that.
I took a walk through the older part of the cemetery – I felt calm and relaxed.
As I made my way out, I looked up and saw the beautiful colours of autumn! I stepped extra hard on the dry leaves..the sound made me grateful to be alive!The sound of the dry leaves cracking underneath my feet.
Date: 8 May 2012
Where: Alta Gracia Cemetery,Argentina