Monday, November 2, 2009

Day Of The Dead: Pere Lachaise, Paris.

Paris has a beautiful cemetery named Pere Lachaise. It's like an amazing park, vast, so large that its sections are divided up by cobble-stoned streets with street signs on poles. It is beautifully maintained with green grass, flowers.

Quite astonishing sculptures dot the landscape. But it's a park in which the best tables, the sunnier spots on the lawn, the exactly right seat to see the sunset or rise or smell the blooming flowers is reserved for the dead.

The dead who reside in Pere Lachaise include such notable Parisians and Lovers of Paris as Edith Piaf, Chopin, Bizet, Balzac, Rossini, James de Rothschild and Oscar Wilde. Because of the oddity of modern times, the best-known plot holds the body of Jim Morrison of the rock group, The Doors. It's so beautiful, in such an odd way.

It makes me wonder why France, a relatively small nation, can create such wonderful public spaces for their residents, while our own corporate-controlled government at best begrudgingly forces a tract home developer to set aside a piece of dirt with some sod, and call that a "park." Oh well -- we could learn a thing or two from the French about life.

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