you know you've made it when people have to make excuses for your behavior.
so today was originally scheduled to be a total rant day--i had pictures and everything, i swear--but instead, i had a mini-breakthrough thought. when talking about some of my favorite places to just "be," locations that both induce serenity and spark intense bouts of creativity, i thought out of the box and, for that matter, out of the continent and came up with a rather obscure place that streams with initial morbidity, but ends up making complete sense--the pere lachaise cemetery in paris.
the hours i've spent there, perched on some random grave, either idly thinking about nothing and everything, or churning out page after page of what i consider to be ingenious writing, could add up to years.
so yeah, it's a cemetery, a place of rest, and if you really think about it, in more ways than one. the dead rest because, well, that's what the dead do. but visitors also; nobody runs in a cemetery, so pace is, by default, slowed, and it's customary to pause in front of certain graves to pay respect (or laugh).
but what really does it for me is the ironic activity of the place. there's just so much going on at once--the severely uneven topography of the place creates very limited horizons, so you're always intrigued as to what lies around corners and over small hills. the ornate grave markers are a life's worth of architecture lessons--in every glance is a conglomerate of different aesthetics--one mausoleum is fronted by classic roman architecture, warrior-and-chariot frieze and all, the one right next to it smooth, angular art deco, while the one directly across from it is flanked in fluted greek columns. even the surrounding grave stones yield all sorts of classic design in the forms of scripts, fonts and scrolling.
i don't think of my love for pere lachaise as beauty in death, or some other colloquialism of a high school literary magazine, but more along the lines of serenity amidst chaos. just because the people under these monolithic messes of mish-mosh design aren't moving around doesn't mean the world above them doesn't teem with fascination.
and speaking of fascination, i bet there's a subculture of people out there who yearn to get locked in pere lachaise and find themselves forced to spend the night in a cemetery. i also bet this same faction of people share the subcultured appreciation for the humorous side of buffalo bill from silence of the lambs.
rants tomo, i promise.