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For some of us graveyards are places to be avoided – reminding us of our inevitable outcome, provoking thoughts to be pushed away for as long as possible. For others graveyards are havens, with their tranquility, and their reassurance that we are all part of a continuous stream of existence, decay and rebirth.
For me graveyards are, paradoxically, places filled with life. Often this is the abundant life of nature left to run its course, but also the lives of all the dear departed who surround me. Who were they? What was life like for them? Did they really inhabit Another Country or was it a world essentially the same as our own, defined by recognisable desires and fears, ambitions and frustrations, kindnesses and cruelty?
As I wander among the headstones, tombs and statuary I read the inscriptions and start to muse. Fragments of narrative emerge – fantasies of a kind but also slivers of shared memory.
Geoff Dunlop, October 2014