Different views to the last page of many a great story

Posted on 5 Apr ’14 by Earl Moore

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

Graveyards are interesting, peaceful and for me somehow reassuring — the last page of many a great story.  Contemplating the markers, I wonder about the experiences of each of the represented lives and how they chose to spend the moments they had.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

We enter this world with one truth…this physical life, as we know it, is temporary and will come to an end at some undetermined moment. Yet, few of us, certainly myself included, live in the spirit of fully comprehending this important point.  Some live without acknowledging it with conscious thought, some live lost in the trivial and grind of daily life and some live in preparation for what they believe may come beyond this physical life — blind to the moment, trading it instead for future promises.

In recent times or in more developed nations and historical periods the feasibility of casual diversions over daily survival has been possible. Many of us today have the privilege and luxury to contemplate the scheme of our lives beyond where the next meal or shelter will come from.

This privilege and luxury perhaps comes with a responsibility, to be more proactive in achieving our own happiness/fulfillment and in sharing this happiness with others where we can.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

A lesson I’ve struggled in my life to learn — live life fully while you have it and work to make it as enjoyable as possible, whatever that looks like to you, as long as it does no harm to others.

Your happiness doesn’t have to look exactly like mine…and that’s okay!

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

These photos were made at Saint Perter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, NC, which has a lovely and old, by American standards, graveyard located between the church and a quiet street. Lovely homes surround it and it’s well kept, as you can see, with trees, bushes and flowers.

Established in 1822, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church has played an important part in diocesan and community life…

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

 

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

While visiting this site, Tom Dills and I were both strolling among the markers and headstones, lost in our own thoughts and each taking photos in moments when inspired.  I only remember communicating once about the fleeting sun striking a row of head stones for a few moments — I think I ended up shooting one side of them and Tom the other.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

Two photographers, same place, same time producing similar but still different photos — each finding there own brand of beauty, art and joy.

Seeing how someone else interprets a scene I also photographed is an interesting  experience…one where I can appreciate both views.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

Briefly, I considered rendering these photos in black and white but after a seemingly long winter the spring colors were so nice I couldn’t bring myself to ignore them.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
Graveyard, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, North Carolina

 

 

 

What Others Are Saying

  1. Cedric Canard 6 Apr ’14 at 6:38 am

    Nice post Earl. I get asked quite a bit why I write about death as much as I do. The thing is I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t give death a thought but I do it to make life that much more vibrant. As you so eloquently put it, when life is no longer a matter of mere survival, we owe it to life to spend some of our spare time not only to being grateful for being alive but perhaps also to trying to understand our purpose.
    Cedric Canard recently posted… I would leave some souvenir

    • Earl 7 Apr ’14 at 11:45 am

      Cedric. I don’t think having frequent thoughts about death is unhealthy when as in your and my own case it’s focus about living in the here and now. To be honest, I don’t know that there is a grand purpose beyond what we each decide to adopt as our own — perhaps that is or should be enough. Thanks for your always thoughtful comments.

  2. Monte Stevens 6 Apr ’14 at 10:02 am

    I agree, “… live life fully while you have it and work to make it as enjoyable as possible, whatever that looks like to you, as long as it does no harm to others.” I have not always live life with that in mind but have pursued those luxury items. I also second Cedric’s comment.

    It will be interesting to see what images Tom comes up with.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… Made It To Phoenix

    • Earl 7 Apr ’14 at 11:53 am

      Monte, I don’t believe simply the pursue of “luxury items” in itself automatically means a wasted life and unhappiness. True, sometimes people confuse happiness with having all those things but I think it still depend upon the person. I often think of how many opportunities those with riches could have to help others and in return bring more happiness and meaning into there own lives. However, just the other day I hear on NPR of a recent study showing in general the richer people are the lest generous they are…such a shame. Thanks!

  3. Paul Maxim 7 Apr ’14 at 6:28 am

    I plan on visiting a few such places in Charleston over the next couple of days (that is if it doesn’t rain too much!). I get the same kinds of feelings you describe in Charleston’s many old and interesting cemeteries. It definitely gives you an interesting perspective on the “temporariness” of life. As you say, it can all be over in an instant – without warning. So do what you want, I guess. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Sometimes it never comes.

    • Earl 7 Apr ’14 at 11:57 am

      I don’t know your exact timing, Paul, but I hope the rain passes quickly for you. Yeah, those things one saves for tomorrow sometimes never get done! Hard to believe, but I’ve never been to Charleston. I’ve planned on it several times but somethings always come up to make me change my plans.

  4. Pingback: A Point of Comparison | Tom Dills Photography Blog

  5. Tom Dills 8 Apr ’14 at 8:08 pm

    Very well said, and a very nice group of photos, Earl. There’s nothing like a graveyard to remind us that our time is short, to remember to enjoy today and to spend our time with the people we love.
    Tom Dills recently posted… A Point of Comparison

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