Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gonesse Graveyard (cont.)

When I saw this structure from a distance, I have to admit my first thought was, "What on earth is a bus stop shelter doing in a cemetery ?" But drawing closer I realized that the clear blue glass enclosure was a sort of tombstone protective housing. I've never seen one like it. Can't imagine stepping inside. . . sort of like sliding into a phone booth to communicate with the spirit world ???
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A tombstone that looked like it had taken a serious hit from something. Maybe a shooting star ?
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Broken ornaments that didn't stand the test of time . . .
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The last thing I saw before heading out of there, which caught me by surprise, was a large grave with a plaque in German to the effect, "Here lie 122 German soldiers who fell in the slaughter at Le Bourget from October to December 1870." Having just walked around Le Bourget earlier in the afternoon, I was wondering what the heck had happened there. Am going to have to do some digging into the 1870 war, it is not a subject covered in any of the history classes I ever took. . .
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19 comments:

Cynthia said...

Curious blue room...so many contrast here, Owen. <3

@eloh said...

Very interesting. The blue box, how strange.

louciao said...

What a beautiful, sensitive sculpture of Las Vegas Mary. Lovely photo of her hands.

I must admit I would have been sorely tempted to make off with those broken grave ornaments and use them in some art work. Maybe I'll steal your photos instead! (tee hee! honk!)

Margaret Pangert said...

It's amazing how you captured the blue hue! Sometimes glass/plastic doesn't always give its true color in a photo as paint would. Strange to see something so sumptuous midst all the ruins.

Steve said...

That blue glass structure is weird - it looks like it's missing some formaldehyde and half a dead cow...!

Roxana said...

hi, owen, i'm glad to see you posting on this topic, i had been pondering it myself for sometime now - graveyard cultures are so different, aren't they? it's always fascinating to discover.
i loved the broken ornements piece most.

and here is a Rimbaud poem written in 1870, very appropriate, i think:


C’est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière

Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons

D’argent ; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,

Luit : c’est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.



Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,

Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu,

Dort ; il est étendu dans l’herbe, sous la nue,

Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.



Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme

Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme :

Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid.



Les parfums ne font pas frissoner sa narine ;

Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine

Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.

(Le dormeur du val)

joo said...

The blue shelter is strange indeed. You're right, blue phone box mixed with the elegant bus stop. Broken ornaments must have been beautiful - shame they didn't stand the test of time!

the watercats said...

lol.. I'm having me one of them blue rooms when I go!... how funky is that!, also, I will have a statue of myself made, sitting in the blue room, with a number plate declaring... "ssshhhhhhhh", my funeral will be amazing!... but that's another story, I may even make it a post one day! I love the photos, a real menagerie of stuff!

Loulou said...

Funny! When I say the blue structure, immediately thought about the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The heroe, Willy Wonka is using an elevator, quite magic, to travel within his factory, together with outside... Did you meet him? ;-) Johnny Depp is the heroe and director is Tim Burton (great Tim Burton).
See you
Amitiés
Loulou

@eloh said...

Is there anything in the blue room or is that a refection of some kind?

If you make it back there take a bunch more pictures of it for us.

Was it locked?

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Nice blue tomb shelter.

It could indeed be a telephone box, though the ethernet would be more apt!

However it is not unheard of for people to insist on being buried with a live telephone line lest they wake up and find themself buried alive by accident!

swan said...

Yes, the blue box is strange... Reminds me of the show Dr.Who.

Owen said...

I'm a little slow getting back here, but better late than never, eh ? Funny how my job has a distracting influence and keeps me away from blogging... sigh...

Swan, yeah, it was one of the stranger ones I've ever seen... Twilight Zone and Dr Who for sure, or maybe it was a Star Trekish transport chamber... "beam me up, Scotty" ???

Laura, thanks for the good tip, will have to remember to include that in my will or whatever... if I die, bury me with a phone line... could be useful in case the IRS needs to reach me post mortem as well !

@eloh, it was pretty empty in there, just reflections on the glass... the Blue Zone ! And yes, it was locked, a lock for each door, at bottom...

Loulou; Excellent ! Loved the book when I was little, then the movie, of course... Guess that's why it's locked, they don't want strangers taking off in the elevator to the moon or Mars or down towards the center of the Earth ! Strange stuff there, must have cost a pretty penny too, with that blue glass and all... And yeah, there was some tall skinny guy in a top hat there, but he walked away fast before I could get a better look...

Waterkits, You can place your orders in advance with me now if you like, send cash advance down payment too, I'll be sure you get one when the time comes... or not ?!? LOL... Like your idea for a "Ssshhhhh" sign, like, I'm sleeping, don't bug me ! As for the menagerie, you are right; well, this blog is sort of a chaotic road map around my mind, and it's a real carnaval in there, I can confirm it... ;-D

Hi Joo... strange blue vibes in the air, definitely, otherwise there are often broken bits and pieces around, not sure how much of it really is just time, and how much is vandalism...

Roxana, a hundred million thank you's for the Rimbaud, I had not seen that for ages, but it came back while reading, I remembered the last lines about the holes in the body before I got to it here... thank you, and odd that it was the same year as what this monument commemorates. Would love to see your take on cemetery shots in the grainy black and white you've been doing... those latest pictures you posted are other-worldly unreal...

Steve !!! What a wonderfully original mind you possess, jeez, half a dead cow in foraldehyde... ! oh boy, gonna go laugh myself off to the mad house with you around to help me... ;-D

Margaret, it was tough to catch the blue, my camera kept trying to over expose the whole thing, I had to force it to shoot a little faster, and even then the sky is a bit burned out, but this was the best of the lot... it was a weird one for sure...

Lynne, glad you like Mary, she had a solemn beauty about her that was quite sobering... As for the rest, well, you have two choices I guess... get yourself over here and come pick them up, and visit with Mr Toad while you're in town, or, copy the pix... and for you, you are more than welcome to, if you promise to show me the results when you're done :-D

Cynthia... contrasts in every sense... it really stuck out like a sore thumb it what was otherwise an almost all stone environment...

Tom Bejgrowicz said...

Like yourself, and everyone else here, I'm all about that fantastical blue mausoleum. Truly unique and a great find.

I found a little bit of information on the Siege Of Paris that the 122 Germans marker is referring to. Check it out here.

Alberto Oliver said...

If you will be digging on XIX century wars, man, a long way to go as there were wars in the continent every single year.
a public statement, if i die, please convince my family to take my ashes and just throw them in some beautiful forest in northern Europe, as it propably may be helpful for fertilizing earth. And no tears please, as tears are only useful for watering a sadness tree.

Owen said...

Alberto Oliver, indeed, indeed, the 19th century was a violent time in Europe, and the 20th wasn't much better... hopefully the 21st century will be better... and I sincerely hope that the eventuality you mentioned here is not going to happen any time soon, and that you will continue to share Nordic culture with us for many years to come.

Tom B., Yeah ! That blue zone cabin was a strange and wonderful find, I've been in alot of cemeteries in various places but have never seen a deal like this. I'm totally mystified as to Why anyone would shell out cash for such an enclosure... if rain is a problem, umbrellas are surely a cheaper solution. And if not that, then what ??? I may just have to go back there and see if I can find someone who can enlighten, as for now, it's a mystery.

Otherwise, many thanks for the link, I just read through quite a bit of that, fascinating reading for sure...

Lille Diane said...

I wondered what happens to the broken, and fallen ornaments. I was immediately taken with them and hoped they would not be discarded or "trashed".

These are beautiful shots, Owen. Your writing is such a joy to read, too. it makes me kick myself for not getting back here sooner to visit with you. Well....not kicking myself too hard because i know you understand.

Great work!

Gina V said...

So I just came on your cemetery posts and viewed your "broken objects in cemeteries" pics...we do seem to share a love for such finds!...and sad as it is to find them in such vandalized [most probable cause!]condition, they really do elevate the poignancy of the graveyard atmosphere! But don't you think that it is good there are people like us to come along to record them for another kind of posterity before they are removed forever!

Sar@h said...

Pour la première photo, à côté de la tombe de mes grands parents, il y a un "mausolée" de ce type (sans glace bleue). Ce sont les familles de gens du voyage qui les érigent.