Monday, August 11, 2008

Lakeview Cemetery

There is a part of me that regrets having gone to the cemetery to take pictures. I've always loved Lakeview Cemetery, universally known for being the resting place of Bruce and Brandon Lee. However if you take time to walk around and look at the gravestones you will see the Mercer family, Denny Family, Yesler Family, Bonney and Watson families. All the founding fathers of Seattle and their families are buried here. It's local history at it's finest, and unfortunately most people have no idea.

I've been wanting to take pictures there for a while, but last time I tried it was already closed. So I decided to take my chances today and do my run over to the cemetery then run home. I walked through the gates and immediately went off looking for the Mercer family head stone. It's this beautiful little mansion perched on top of a pedestal and it was insanely hard for me to shoot. I just couldn't capture it, so I explored the panels along the sides and really liked this one. The sun was hitting it perfectly in just one corner, and the effect was reminiscent of an old picture taken during the time when the Mercer family might have been just discovering the area.

When I visited Seattle for the first time after having moved to LA I took this picture of St. Francis, of whom I call my "little guy" to the dismay of a good friend of mine. I have never been "religious" exactly, but I've always had a fascination with saints. I found it beautiful that within us there could be such an altruistic nature that we could be considered divine. It's one of the reasons I love the earth and nature so much because I believe within it is God, and we are part of the earth so we too are God. It's only natural that I would gravitate towards St. Francis, but unfortunately I only was equipped with camera phone the first time I saw him. I returned to take another picture, this time with my friend's camera, but I can't find it for some reason...

One of the downsides to not being religious or having gone to church as a young child was that I have no idea of the stories of the church or the bible, nor do I have any clue who the saints are by sight...or story for that matter! My mom never really took the time to take me to any church. I would go with friends when I was curious so I had been to Catholic Church, Mormon Church, a crazy evangelical Christian Church, straight up Christian Church, a Non-Denominational Church and then all the higher power stuff they tried to teach me in Alateen meetings, all before I reached junior high. I started dating someone who was Muslim, so I was a bit informed about that religion as well. Growing up I never had anyone steer me in one direction when it came to the Church so I just created my own, I guess. I like to feel as though I'm closer to God because I feel like I appreciate Him more on my own than I would through other peoples eyes.  If there is anything I would like about organized religion, it would be that they celebrate an individual who has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they only want to help others. How beautiful is that?

She seemed curious about me. Looking down at me like she knew what I was up to. She was beautiful, and with the blue sky behind her I couldn't resist.

This is my least favorite photo that I took, and yet I add it. I had seen this before and thought it was so touching; a grandmother with her granddaughter, perhaps reading to her or sharing stories. I took many shots from different angles and honestly thought that the sun hitting the grandma's face would accent the picture perfectly but now I think it looks a bit creepy. Almost as though she is scolding her granddaughter instead of the domestic scene I had imagined. It kinda reminds me of an old Hitchcock movie.

On to my favorite. I love the over-exposed background. It makes her seem as though she is behind a great light with her hand reaching to guide you. I was so enamored with the statues that I couldn't stop shooting them. Each time I left one after I was done, I would make sure to thank them and the person who's grave they were sitting on. It gave me just a little reassurance that hopefully something wouldn't follow me home.

During the time I was there I had 4 different people ask me where Bruce Lee's grave was. I didn't mind telling them as I remember the first time I went looking for the father and son. I honestly thought I might have the gravesite to myself, seeing that it was a Monday afternoon, but there were so many people around it I didn't want to intrude. There was one disabled man who was telling the tourists all about Taoism and Jeet Kune Do, explaining the idea of the yin and yang. I sat and listened to him for a moment. He was a white haired gentleman who had a soft voice and seeing as I am a sucker for a guy who talks about anything passionately I really enjoyed listening to him speak about Bruce Lee and his form of martial arts. 
I wasn't scared to have taken pictures when I was there, but when I got home and started working with each shot I felt as though maybe I shouldn't have. I'm forever afraid of karma and bad luck and the last thing I need right now is to bring anything bad upon myself. As I've writen this and revisited each shot, I'm actually glad I went and even more happy that I posted them here for everyone to enjoy. And I hope you do.
By the way...the picture above came out as image 0911 when I uploaded it. Just imagine how wonderful the world would be if we did just hold hands and accept each other instead of fighting with one another over our beliefs. 

I suppose this is why they say not to drink and blog :)

No comments: