Sunday, August 8, 2010

220. A time of fallow

Striding the broad avenues, it cheekily occurred to me that this was a Burly-Griffin graveyard. Perhaps a cemetery rather than a graveyard. And what is the difference exactly, your cocked eye-brow says to me? With a puffed up sense of gravitas, I reply that a graveyard is a delightful jumble of concrete and earth, of glass jars and crockery tiles with graven images; whereas a cemetery is a spreadsheet with cells for headstones, rows for walking and columns for bodies. All neatly packaged up with an antiseptic bow to lay to rest the qualms of modernity, I add with a grimace at the pun.

Maybe this is a nice place to spend eternity but not a patch on Pere La Chaise, or Highgate or San Michele Island or even Woodlawn in New York. And it pales into oblivion when compared with the ‘Loch Ard’ graveyard high above Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast.


Joan Elizabeth said...

I've just been gobbling up all the backlog of stories and not commenting and reached this one. I like your take on this. It reminded me that Paula (PJ) wrote on this topic some time ago so I looked it up in her blog (I miss her not posting).

"In time's past, one hoped to be entombed inside one's church but if one wasn't wealthy enough to pay for a crypt then one was buried in the graveyard, which was part of the churchyard.

Then, due to overpopulation and disease, it became illegal to be buried in a graveyard so those who passed onto the choir everlasting were placed in catacombs, ossuaries, and the like.

Eventually, it came to pass that municipalities created their own version of a "graveyard" called a cemetery, "a place to sleep".

Julie said...

ooo ... I like that!

It will not surprise you one iota that I plucked my definitions out of thin air.

Julie said...

When I ponder further on this, my 'thin air' was reasonably accurate. 'Graveyard' is the old term whereas 'cemetery' is newer. So 'absorbing by osmosis' works for moi.