“Hey, Jen. Sorry I missed your call – I was at a poetry reading.”
“Of course you were.”
“So did you end up seeing Strangers with Candy?”
“No, I mostly spent the day at the cemetery.”
“Viv? You still there?”
“I’m here. Okay, now exactly why were you at a cemetery?”
“Well, it was really gorgeous out on Sunday, and it just seemed like such a waste to spend the day in a dark movie theatre.”
“So you spent the day in a graveyard instead?”
“Mmm hmm.”
“Did you go with someone?”
“No, just myself.”
“All day?”
“Weren’t you creeped out? Crazy people live in the cemetery!”
“Well – it’s not like I went at midnight! It was the middle of the day. Although, there was one point where I got a little weirded out. I saw this dripping faucet that looked kind of cool, so I squatted down to take some pictures…”
“Uh huh.”
“…and one by one, about thirty crows flew into the two trees next to me. They didn’t come all at once – it was very Hitchcockian. And then they all started cawing at the same time, so I got the hell out of there.”
“You are such a freak.”
“What? It’s the largest cemetery in Chicago, and I’ve never been there. It just seemed like a good way to spend the day.”
“Taking pictures of dead people.”
“Not the people, just their tombstones. Did you ever notice that the ground in cemeteries is really soft? It’s kind of hard to walk on. And the next time I go, I’m going to be sure to get a map. I kept getting lost and having to listen for traffic to find the way out.”
“Oh my god, you’re crazy.”
“But then I saw this group of people who didn’t quite seem like mourners, because they all had sandals on and were carrying water bottles, so I casually followed them toward the exit.”
“Did you duck behind tombstones to hide from them?”
“No, but I did pretend to be taking pictures of this one angel statue.”
“Jenny, I really think you need to get involved in some group social activities.”
“What do you mean? I do stuff! What’s so wrong with going to a cemetery for fun? People do it in Europe all the time!”
“So on a gorgeous summer weekend, you decided to spend the day – by yourself – getting lost in a labyrinth of death and decay, and photo documenting the entire thing?”
“Well, geez, when you put it that way…”

30 Responses to “Rosehill”

  1. teahouseblossom Says:

    Cemeteries rock. When I was in high school, my English teacher took us to a local cemetery for poetry readings.
    I really like that guy’s tombstone carved out of a tree.

  2. Jessica Says:

    I love cemeteries. I use to live in a house that was owned by the local Catholic church. It had a huge picture window that overlooked an entire graveyard. I always thought it was very peaceful.

  3. Dustin Says:

    No judgment, none at all…
    P.S. He who controls the Spice, controls the universe!

  4. jenny Says:

    THB: Poetry *and* tombstones? How cool was your teacher? And how fired would s/he be today?
    Jess: Whoa now! I didn’t say anything about living by one… that’s just crazy! (kidding – it’s still cool!)
    Dustin: Ixnay on the Une-day… that was supposed to be our little secret!

  5. Dustin Says:

    Oh, now I get it. You only come to my place when you’re lookin’ to “slum it up.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised coming from someone who gets their kicks out of cemeteries. (grin)

  6. jenny Says:

    Aw c’mon baby – don’t be that way! We’ll always have Arrakis. Here, let me get you some spice.

  7. Strode Says:

    I have alwayslike looking at gravestones. I remember the first time I saw a tree trunk stone like the one above. I still think those are some of the coolest ones. It’s amazing how the styles change over the years.

  8. mainja Says:

    my mum and i used to explore cemeteries all the time. it was great. so, personally i think it’s a fabulous way to spend a sunny sunday.

  9. Kevin Says:

    Black and white photography?
    I love you.

  10. kat Says:

    heh. you said hitchcockian.

  11. ms. sizzle Says:

    you’re the coolest.

  12. shari Says:

    My kids all learned to ride their bikes at the cemetery here because our house was on a long hill and the cemetery is level. Actually, the history you can glean from the headstones is kinda fascinating to me. But if you’d packed a picnic, then I’d wonder. ;)

  13. Dop Says:

    Sounds fun. Not as fun as my weekend in Vegas, but something I would do. On a weekend. When it’s sunny. And I am alone.

  14. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Not creepy- idiosyncratic. Creepy is for sociopaths who chop people up, idiosyncratic is for artistic people who take lovely photos. See the difference?

  15. Dustin Says:

    Well…as long as you’re doling out the good stuff…okay.

  16. 3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) Says:

    *giggling* I don’t know how anyone gets to the point where they brain says, “I think I’ll spend this beautiful day in a cemetary.” But you did get some good photos. (Oh and made me laugh) YOu are a unique individual Jen. :-)(I mean that in a good way too)

  17. Fiorello La Guardia Says:

    What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Jenny, you are such a charming woman.
    I remember a time long, long ago when I spent a beautiful afternoon with my sweet child doing headstone rubbings for a school project. Ever heard of that?

  18. jenny Says:

    Phew – long day! But I’m glad to come back and see that the Cemetery Club is alive and well!
    Strode: Isn’t that the coolest? I was actually looking for ideas for my own tombstone. I prefer something a bit bigger than the tree stump, though.
    mainja: Aha! A kindred spirit! :)
    Kevin: :::blush:::
    kat: OHMIGOD I totally just did! And it was actually kind of Dickinsonian too! DIRTY!
    Sizz: Thanks, pal! Bet you have some cool cemeteries in Seattle to check out now!
    Shari: I love trying to figure out the history from the engravings. And it’s cool that your kids rode bikes in the graveyard, as long as the didn’t use headstones for ramps…
    Dop: Yeah, your Vegas weekend sounded pretty action packed. Maybe we should try gambling in a cemetery sometime? And we might meet some hookers there, too, so it’ll be just like Vegas.
    Tracy Lynn: Can I be eccentric? I’ve always wanted to be a crazy old cat lady.
    Dustin: Ahh, all is right in the world again.
    3T: Let me tell you, it takes a lot of practice. Thanks! ;)
    Fio: Not only have I heard of it, I’ve done it, several times. Thanks for the reminder – I smell an art project coming on!

  19. Mocha Says:

    This sounds wonderful. Something I would wish I had done. Very very uber hip & cool. Totally fabu.
    You get the idea.
    Your pictures are great! I love the angel statue. Good to know we have the same camera – I’ll spend some time in a cemetary soon. But I can get freaked out easily. I hope there aren’t 30 Hitchcokian Crows overhead.

  20. shari Says:

    Heavens no! Cemetery etiquette was learned right along with two-wheeler balance. All the lanes are paved and curbed, so there was no need to go the overland route. And if any visitors were present, we would make a big loop around that area so as to ensure privacy for their grief and/or memories. Now that I think of it, it may have been a stroke of parental genius born merely of the practical need for smooth, level, un-trafficked pathways. Wow! Visiting here makes me feel like a better parent. Jenny’s blog worked for me, and it can make YOU a better parent too. Call now! Operators are standing by.

  21. jenny Says:

    Mocha: You’ll be just fine – just stay on the path. DO NOT STRAY FROM THE PATH! I think I like this one better than the angel.
    Shari: Then my job here is done. This will be my last entry. Good night everyone!

  22. elle Says:

    Great pics. Don’t tell anyone, but an ex-boyfriend and I used to (ahem) park in an old cemetary. We gave the ole’ ghosts one hellava show.

  23. Margaret Says:

    My boyfriend when I was 16 and I used to go “park” at the cemetary near the school. I think the place saw a lot of action.

  24. Bobby Says:

    I do better in historic cemeteries than ones that are currently being . . . ‘stocked.’ You know what I mean? When the graves are all one hundred, two hundred, three hundred years old, it’s a different experience.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    I am having nightmares about that deer.

  26. Sarah Says:

    I used to hang out in this cemetary up in Syracuse all the time…I loved going for walks there, even having a picnic there.
    Every time I pass one since I think about how I should go one day and walk around, take photos. You’ve done it! I’m proud of you. Maybe I can do it now, too.

  27. jenny Says:

    elle: I’M TELLING EVERYONE! Elle messed around in a graveyard!
    Margaret: I’M TELLING EVERYONE! Margaret messed around in a graveyard!
    Bobby: I’M TELLING EVERYONE! Bobby messed… oh wait. No he didn’t. THAT WE KNOW OF!
    Anonymous: I’m not kidding when I say that out of all the graves, that one freaked me out the most. The other side of it was even worse for some reason.
    Sarah: I’d love to see the pics you would take. I say make it a field trip. I’m already planning a trip to the other really cool cemetery by my house. I might be addicted.

  28. peefer Says:

    “Taking pictures of dead people” was my favourite line. I imagined zombie lovers strolling the paths hand in hand, zombie teenagers hanging out drinking root beer from tall glass bottles, the elderly zombies picking up their limbs. And you photographing it all.
    Nice pictures by the way. Seriously.

  29. jenny Says:

    Peef: If I could get the opportunity to do a zombie photo shoot, it would be the greatest accomplishment of my life. I love the zombie teenagers most of all.

  30. peefer Says: