Black and white.
Life is not black and white, but rather a series of greys that fade and deepen at different times. Sometimes the light shines out from the clouds and other times lies hidden, just a silver outline hinting that, if you could just sit still long enough, there will be a brighter dawn or a shining dusk that lights the sky.
I'm a great fan of monochrome photos. It's quite possible to get a really good effect even on a dark or bright day. Yesterday (as a soul-clearing, cobweb blowing experience) I went for a walk. I wanted to feel the breeze against my face and to keep having to pull my hair back, to watch the skudding clouds and to breathe.
I went to our local church. It's about 500 years old, a real symbol of eternity there, then. Still a vibrant Christian community; we go about once a month to this church for parade services because our regular church don't do uniformed parades and this is the church that is linked to the primary school the children attended so this is the church where they joined the groups. Is that complicated enough? In other words, we are members of another congregation but this is a regular visiting place.
The church yard is quite large and slopes, so one gets a real feeling of perspective looking over it. Graves stretch down the hill and rather cling to the slopes. The oldest date from the 1700s but newer graves are freshly dug for the most recently departed. And the grave stones are worn in places, fresh black marble in others. I would have the worn red sandstone (our local stone) as against the impressively shiny black, but I rather prefer the idea of being buried in the forest with a tree as my headstone.
Some of the graves are marked, flowers or small signs that somebody has been to see them. Others slope precariously, leaning towards the neighbours as if the two are discussing the latest gossip or swapping notes on how often they have been looked at.
Fashions change in graves as well as clothes. Where simple headstones changed to block graves, and crosses are grouped together in one area; who started the cross fashion? Who copied whom? And is imitation in death still a form of flattery?
Two obelisks; not what I expected in a suburban graveyard. The Fowler family obviously had a 'thing' for Egypt... or were they masons? As in the Grand Lodge of Masons?
the other knelt, hands clasped in prayer. I couldn't read the names beneath; was it a wife or a child whose passing had made the anguish visible in stone?
Reading the inscriptions in stone can lead to some sudden catches in breath;
Not The John Watson, but good enough to make us pause, to read the stone and to giggle at the name beneath. Job description? Poet. There is a Sir William Watson (poet) on Wikipedia; can this be him? I've studied English to degree level and never met his name.....
And some stand out for sheer audacity; the most incongruous grave is so Italian, so Catholic with the mosaic and angels singing down that I had to swap back to colour. Whoever Eliza and Sir Andrew Barclay were, I'm prepared to believe that they went on the Grand Tour of Europe. Where else would one get the idea of a grotto?