Tuesday, 18 June 2013

graveyard wanderings

I've always been fascinated by graveyards: the rasping crows, immense yew trees, yellow/orange lichen on ancient stone.
As a child, I remember Mum often suggesting a walk round the graveyard in Friary Park (North London). Starved of access to areas of real wilderness, I loved visiting the place with its straggling overgrown hedges and wild flowers, rather than the manicured municipality of the park.
In our region of France the elements are a little different: huge, ancient cypress trees, the graves often small tombs with decaying metal railings and weathered ceramic plaques showing  photos of the person. But the atmosphere is the same - quiet, of course, an invitation to meander, read the dates and think about the people buried there.
This cemetery is in a small village in 'the Corbieres' where we went to play for a wedding at the weekend.

I escaped the bustle of over-excited guests, our swearing guitarist who had the thankless task of wiring everything up, and the robotic-but very efficient-caterers, and went to sit on a bench under some dusty cypress trees to rehearse song words. It was one of those moments in time which was without doubt etched on my mind along with all the other miscellaneous badly labeled boxes up there in my head: the light, the temperature of the day, the peace before the unknown quantity ahead which would probably . . . and did, end in a drunken and very late fashion.

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