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Some Ideas about the Meaning of "Crossing the Cemetery"

Yesterday I just stood in front of this grave,
today again - but this here is another than the one before ...

As mostly in life, an accident (do they really exist?) leaded me to take photographies on a cemetery. The first time, Ludwig leaded us to the Melaten Cemetery in Cologne, and a little later I published my first report with photos ("Von Engeln und Hexen, Reichtum, Seuchen und Krieg. Der Friedhof Melaten in Köln") on the domain XTraTriX.

But again and again something pulled me to these last resting-places of our deceased (naturally "only" to take a photography there). Later I understood, that it was all about me: my own sorrow, my attitude against death and the behind and our live "before". Again much more later I understood, that I also was here for other people (see below).

Cologne, Germany, Cemetery Melaten - Woman, sorrowing about her husband (sculpture)Female figureI have personally profited from my "Crossing the Cemetery", without having foreseen that. I saw the deep love of various partners taking leave of their deceased. I saw the graves of babies, who died even the same day, they were born and I saw sporadic thombstones of more-than-hundred-years-old people. My previous conception about righteousness seemed suddenly dubious, foolish and childish to me. Personal lamentations spontaneous became relative. I began to be delighted to my own existence more than ever.

Here on the cemetery I saw grieving people going in and out and I could realize that, after a while, grief and mourning gave way to other deeper feelings. I saw the imposing burialplaces of the former successful people and the meagres remainders of others, who died poor. I saw best maintained graves and others, nobody cared about meanwhile - some of them let me sense, that the pain might have been to deep ...

R.I.P.I saw seasons come and go and I recognized, that even stones change and - in course of generations - fade away just like all other things around them.

Flowers, arranged on a graveOn the cemetery, we understand principles of all being: whether it is within days, sometimes within hours the fading of the flowers or the crumbling of the thombstones within generations: everywhere distinct is the inherent change of all these processes. Less clear, but also senseable is the herefrom emerging result of something new - maybe best seen, where the fresh green of the weeds grows exuberantly in the middle of a broken thumbstone of an old grave.

Strictly spoken, I saw nothing less than the full life ...

Hand, showing the wayWe know, that we all will die some times, but we don't know, what comes afterwards. More or less often, we doubt that something comes. Paradoxical it seems to be this uncertainty, which allows us and which directly admonishes us to accept the present day, as it is and to enjoy it. In addition to this, we do good hoping for a better world after death.

Personally, I always felt more alive and confident after all the walks, all the times I spent on those cemeteries ...

Rose on a graveShortly before this publication one of my photos was - even accidentally - choosed and used for a mourning-paper in my personal environment. Comments about all what this picture expresses came together. By those strange interpretations, which differed from my own thoughts, these photographies gained another, not yet discovered additional dimension for me.


These Pages are especially dedicated to those people, whom at the moment their personal sorrows seem to be boundless, and the former ones, who at the moment (for whatever reasons) can not go personally to a cemetery.