While traveling in Argentina, we visited La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. Since 1822, nearly 5,000 mausoleums have been constructed in the highest fashion of the times, from Baroque and Neo-Gothic to Art Deco and Art Nouveau. La Recoleta is a city for the dead, with elegant marble tombs neatly laid out in blocks over fourteen acres.
Some are maintained, for love or pride. Others, like the poet Shelley’s statue of Ozymandias, have fallen into disrepair, covered with spider webs and graffiti, littered with broken glass and faded plastic flowers. Feral cats stare warily from their marble perches and skulk away sideways if approached.
We saw the grave of Eva Peron, and other statesmen, poets, generals, and presidents.
More interesting to me was the final resting place for a mother and her infant. They were not famous, but clearly they were loved. Did she and the child die in childbirth? Were they swept away by an epidemic, leaving behind the grieving husband and father who erected this memorial? Was he able to pick up the pieces of his broken life to find happiness again?
Wherever we go, we will find reminders of all the stories in this world that will never be told. When I took this photograph, I could be certain of only two things. Both mother and child were subject to an early and tragic demise. And, as seen by the lush green fern sprouting from the dust collecting in the cracks in the stone, life goes on.
All images and words copyright Naomi Baltuck
NAOMI BALTUCK ~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller here at Bardo. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer, and story-teller whose works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE. Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV. She also conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi Baltuck.com
2 thoughts on “Two Subjects (and one important thing to remember)”
“Reminders of all the stories in this world that will never be told…” a beautiful line that makes me think of looking into another person’s eyes. How many pairs of eyes do we meet in a day and never know the stories they tell? I”ll think about that as I greet people in the living history museum today.
I have a similar sense when I visit graveyards: al the untold stories of people on whose shoulders I stand.
Lovely as always, Naomi.