Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I got lost in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery today, by myself on a warm and sunny spring day. I knew of some of the notable tenants there but I just went with my camera and the intention to just get lost. The only ground I was truly excited to randomly find is that where Frederic Chopin was buried. To be at the resting place of one of those who most inspires the melodies that float around my head all the time...well, that would be something to make me smile that smile. Surprisingly, there were not that many people and I could wander without much human contact and just listen and look.

Mostly I saw old women, tending graves. Bottles of water sparkling in the sunlight, brought to carefully tend to the bursts of color through the moss. They move silent like ghost wives, laying down a rainbow of reminders that someone was loved.

Nothing is more devastatingly beautiful than flowers at a gravesite, even old flowers, long ago knocked over by the wind and faded with rain. I sat quietly by myself, listening to the sound of children playing in the schoolyard over the fence, the spring birds singing a cantata, and the wind through the trees that line the cobblestoned paths.

I thought about all the people gone from my life. And I thought of those who are left behind to keep the memory alive that yes, you were loved.

I stumbled upon a gravesite on my way out that made my heart jump into my throat. I held in a silent cheer as I looked closer. It said F. Choppin and the names below I did not recognize. The dates were a bit off and I knew it was probably not the grave of my direct influence but I stood there anyway and for a moment in time, I smiled that smile.

Rest in peace, F. Choppin. Someone loved you today.

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