I looked at my friend. I don't know what I had done to deserve her friendship but she was always there for me. She was there before my whole world came crashing down, she was there after, and she would be there 'til they laid us both in the ground, side by side with matching tombstones that read best on one, and friends on the other-yeah it was morbid that we had this all planned out, but that was just us.
The odor of bowel wind is known to every human, but the fragrance of book glue has crossed only a fraction of mortal nostrils. And yet it behooves us not to judge the unlettered too harshly. We must stay the impulse to write CHUCKLEHEAD above their doors and carve DOLT upon their tombstones.
James K. Morrow
When I was younger, I loved graveyards. They weren't spooky so much as mysterious. Each tombstone another story to uncover. Another life to learn about. Now that I'm older - I won't say how old - I hate graveyards. The only life - or rather death - I see in the tombstones is my own.
Who's afraid of the big, bad buildings? Everyone, because there are so many things about gigantism that we just don't know. The gamble of triumph or tragedy at this scale "" and ultimately it is a gamble "" demands an extraordinary payoff. The trade center towers could be the start of a new skyscraper age or the biggest tombstones in the world.
Ada Louise Huxtable
I conceive disgust at those impertinent and misbecoming familiarities, inscribed upon your ordinary tombstones. Every dead man must take upon himself to be lecturing me with his odious truism, that "such as he now is, I must shortly be." Not so shortly, friend, perhaps, as thou imaginest. In the meantime I am alive. I move about. I am worth twenty of thee. Know thy betters!
Cemeteries in Bohemia are like gardens. The graves are covered with grass and colourful flowers. Modest tombstones are lost in the greenery. When the sun goes down, the cemetery sparkles with tiny candles... no matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reigns in the cemetery. Even in wartime, even in Hitler's time, even in Stalin's time..
Fae§ade. One, simple word. But, very complex portents. It's like living a life of half-dead. You are neither fully inside a grave, nor completely out of it, beyond the oppressive calmness of the slabs, tombstones and plaques. There is one solace though, you soon discover that you are not alone in the vast graveyard of the half-dead. This is what Kamini soon realized when she plunged herself back into the world that the destiny had conspired her to inherit.
Showmen's Rest was truly something to behold. Throughout the entire yard, statues and carvings of elephants, clowns, and tight-rope walkers danced on the gray and white surfaces of tombstones and grave-markers. For the first time, Michael got the feeling that the men and women who'd been buried there were probably really happy with their final resting place. It was a touching tribute, one that honored their passion in life and that had been constructed out of love and respect.
Jacqueline E. Smith
As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above", I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.
I must say, some are not very beautifully made. They're coffee-table books for people who drink alcohol. I have nothing against coffee-table books as long as they are well done. They must not look like gravestones on a table. Sometimes they are too big, they come in boxes and things like this. No, a book has to be easy to open and you don't have to be a bodybuilder to lift it. I like books I can read in bed. Those big tombstones would kill me.
Intense sunlight rained down on a half-submerged city. Waves crashed between buildings that stood like waterlogged tombstones. Skyscrapers of smashed glass and twisted rusting metal jutted from the churning swell as islands of broken dreams. A familiar tower with a familiar clock face... Big Ben. London stared back at Blue. What was left of it. A sea-drowned cemetery for a time and a place long dead.
The old dead trees are the most fascinating - the countless trees lying in the gullies and up the hills that fell perhaps a century ago, pulling up their roots from the earth as they toppled. The great upheavals left rocks in their huge tentacles and, as they slowly rot, the trunks are home to populations of creatures, from goannas to wild pigs. As grey as tombstones in a cemetery they lie there, having outlasted generations of farmers, as they'll outlast me. In their own way they are as beautiful, more beautiful, than living trees.
When the weather's nice, my parents go out quite frequently and stick a bunch of flowers on old Allie's grave. I went with them a couple of times, but I cut it out. In the first place, I don't enjoy seeing him in that crazy cemetery. Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all. It wasn't too bad when the sun was out, but twice-twice-we were there when it started to rain. It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetery started running like hell over to their cars. That's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner-everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wished he wasn't there.
I sat wondering: Why is there always this deep shade of melancholy over the fields arid river banks, the sky and the sunshine of our country? And I came to the conclusion that it is because with us Nature is obviously the more important thing. The sky is free, the fields limitless; and the sun merges them into one blazing whole. In the midst of this, man seems so trivial. He comes and goes, like the ferry-boat, from this shore to the other; the babbling hum of his talk, the fitful echo of his song, is heard; the slight movement of his pursuit of his own petty desires is seen in the world's market-places: but how feeble, how temporary, how tragically meaningless it all seems amidst the immense aloofness of the Universe! The contrast between the beautiful, broad, unalloyed peace of Nature-calm, passive, silent, unfathomable, -and our own everyday worries-paltry, sorrow-laden, strife-tormented, puts me beside myself as I keep staring at the hazy, distant, blue line of trees which fringe the fields across the river. Where Nature is ever hidden, and cowers under mist and cloud, snow and darkness, there man feels himself master; he regards his desires, his works, as permanent; he wants to perpetuate them, he looks towards posterity, he raises monuments, he writes biographies; he even goes the length of erecting tombstones over the dead. So busy is he that he has not time to consider how many monuments crumble, how often names are forgotten!
The plane banked, and he pressed his face against the cold window. The ocean tilted up to meet him, its dark surface studded with points of light that looked like constellations, fallen stars. The tourist sitting next to him asked him what they were. Nathan explained that the bright lights marked the boundaries of the ocean cemeteries. The lights that were fainter were memory buoys. They were the equivalent of tombstones on land: they marked the actual graves. While he was talking he noticed scratch-marks on the water, hundreds of white gashes, and suddenly the captain's voice, crackling over the intercom, interrupted him. The ships they could see on the right side of the aircraft were returning from a rehearsal for the service of remembrance that was held on the ocean every year. Towards the end of the week, in case they hadn't realised, a unique festival was due to take place in Moon Beach. It was known as the Day of the Dead... When he was young, it had been one of the days he most looked forward to. Yvonne would come and stay, and she'd always bring a fish with her, a huge fish freshly caught on the ocean, and she'd gut it on the kitchen table. Fish should be eaten, she'd said, because fish were the guardians of the soul, and she was so powerful in her belief that nobody dared to disagree. He remembered how the fish lay gaping on its bed of newspaper, the flesh dark-red and subtly ribbed where it was split in half, and Yvonne with her sleeves rolled back and her wrists dipped in blood that smelt of tin. It was a day that abounded in peculiar traditions. Pass any candy store in the city and there'd be marzipan skulls and sugar fish and little white chocolate bones for 5 cents each. Pass any bakery and you'd see cakes slathered in blue icing, cakes sprinkled with sea-salt.If you made a Day of the Dead cake at home you always hid a coin in it, and the person who found it was supposed to live forever. Once, when she was four, Georgia had swallowed the coin and almost choked. It was still one of her favourite stories about herself. In the afternoon, there'd be costume parties. You dressed up as Lazarus or Frankenstein, or you went as one of your dead relations. Or, if you couldn't think of anything else, you just wore something blue because that was the colour you went when you were buried at the bottom of the ocean. And everywhere there were bowls of candy and slices of special home-made Day of the Dead cake. Nobody's mother ever got it right. You always had to spit it out and shove it down the back of some chair. Later, when it grew dark, a fleet of ships would set sail for the ocean cemeteries, and the remembrance service would be held. Lying awake in his room, he'd imagine the boats rocking the the priest's voice pushed and pulled by the wind. And then, later still, after the boats had gone, the dead would rise from the ocean bed and walk on the water. They gathered the flowers that had been left as offerings, they blew the floating candles out. Smoke that smelt of churches poured from the wicks, drifted over the slowly heaving ocean, hid their feet. It was a night of strange occurrences. It was the night that everyone was Jesus... Thousands drove in for the celebrations. All Friday night the streets would be packed with people dressed head to toe in blue. Sometimes they painted their hands and faces too. Sometimes they dyed their hair. That was what you did in Moon Beach. Turned blue once a year. And then, sooner or later, you turned blue forever.