Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's good to be alive. 

I took yesterday off from everything. Friends, family, obligations - everything. I needed to clear my head.

So I went to a graveyard. As I said to a friend yesterday on the phone, it's an appropriate place to go and think about your life. It's humbling knowing that someday you'll wind up in one. Hopefully later rather than sooner.

Late the night before, I read a brief description of an annual fall event called Angels and Accordians. It's a site specific performance incorporated into a walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. I believe it is the largest cemetery in this borough, and it's one of only four in the country that has been given national landmark status.

Women in white dance, pose and sing atop and around the various tombstones and masoleums accompanied by accordianists dressed in black playing mostly funeral durges. The graveyard historian occasionally speaks about various historical figures buried there - like Lord God King Freemason and former Governer of New York DeWitt Clinton and actor Frank Morris. We also got to go into the catacombs, which was incredibly creepy. Some of the masoleums were also open. The tour ended with a final dance and music performance, which is pictured above.

Speaking of photos, my camera broke a couple of weeks ago. So I was unable to take a single picture of this event. However, I don't think that I will ever forget this event. There is not a film I've seen, a book I've read, a record I've heard, a show that I've attended this year that has moved me as deeply as the beauty of this event. I probably would have wept except there were way too many people around.

One of my favorite moments was seeing two women dressed in black. They played an eerie rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on an accordian and saw. The crowd listened in silence as we heard a young boy softly say to his mother "This music is freaking me out. Can we go now?"

It was truly a beautiful day.

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