Friday, October 29, 2010

Forgotten Photo Friday, Memento Mori

Shot in 2008, this forgotten photo begs us on this All Soul's Weekend, Memento Mori.

Headstones 10-12-2008 11-32-15 AM

This is truly a Forgotten Photo Friday. I was culling through my headstone photos and stumbled a photos from a trip to Boston. In it, I found a shot that I took of a headstone in a graveyard along the Freedom Trail.

I’m not going describe this headstone. Just pretend that you are in Boston and you have found this old, historic graveyard and you are exploring it yourself. Walk up to the headstone and look at it for yourself. But bear with me, I was with a few people just taking snap shots and not realizing what I was looking at I just pointed and shot, muttering something about the crappy lighting. (The photo was taken at 11:00 am, the lighting is harsh.) But then, we are lucky to be able to see a work of art like this, aren’t we?

Now your job is to translate the Latin phrases!Headstone 9-21-2008 10-59-7Headstone 9-21-2008 10-59-03 AMHeadstone 9-21-2008 10-59-8 Headstone 9-21-2008 10-59-9Headstone 9-21-2008 10-59-6

I really do get excited when I find historical headstones. It’s not that I’m a morbid guy. It’s just that this time of year, there is an aesthetic to the graveyards in New England. I think of these headstones as art for the living, not the dead. After all, for the most part, it is the living that carve these stones, it is the living that decide what to put on them and it is the living that stops by to visits them. And for me, the autumn is the perfect time to explore New England graveyards. I might even whistle.

Stop buy later this weekend as I show you headstone art from the 1700s to the late 1800s and you can see how it has evolved.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

...I am enjoying your graveyard series--the perfect photos for this time of year. The last gravestone is amazing! For a translation, how about....live mindful of death, the hour flies! or long live the memory... (Matty is in his second year of Latin so he gave it a try. I only know German....)

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Latin isn't my forte' but I truly enjoy this series. This stone in particular is truly fascinating. Would love to know the translation. And yeah....sometimes that harsh light can create some dramatic shadowing. Love it.

bunnits said...

I am really enjoying these photos. They take me back to my student archaeology days when we studied the 1960's work of James Deetz and Edwin Dethlefsen in changes in motifs of Early American gravestones as the designs changed over time from death's head to cherub to urn and willow motifs. Deetz's book, In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life (Anchor Books, 1977, 1996) has lots of interesting ideas.

A New England Life said...

Very cool. I don't think I've ever seen a design like on the bottom stone. So intricate and interesting.

No Latin translation here.

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