Tag Archives: flowers

World Goth Day, Observation and Contemplation

23 May

Another exploration of Düsseldorf’s Nordfriedhof, in the twilight of the evening hour and short before rain set in. It’s becoming a habit and I keep being surprised by how much splendor and pomp but also food for thought this place has to offer. Some facts:

The graveyard is the closest nearby place, where I can enjoy a bit of calm and solitude in “nature”. There are wild parts, reminiscent of English landscape gardens, which occur quite magical to the senses. On the other hand, the majority of graves is fostered with an accuracy resembling that of miniature baroque gardens. The ballast bed trend is also taking over people’s last place of rest. There are exceptions, with lush planting gone wild, such as the grave covered in columbine, which is pictured above.

The caretakers seem to employ ecological concepts and care for biodiversity. E.g. I found an abandoned sandy part, previously covered in black nightshade, and now filled with fragrant phacelia, which is a soil conditioner and attracts a multitude of pollinating insects, not only honey bees. There are bee hives being implemented on this graveyard. There is a small pond visited by various water fowl as well grey herons and I spotted at least one large bird of prey, a common buzzard. The entrance on one side smells heavily like fox. There is a huge population of rabbits digging burrows all across the graveyard, which is probably not to the liking of all bereaved, but partly amusing to observe.

There is an abundance of large and impressive family gravesites as well as memorials for the victims of WWI and WWII. The annexed stonemason does an admirable job with the restoration of the historical gravesites.

It is easy to become enticed by the romanticism conveyed through the abundance and sheer beauty of the place and its funerary art. Yet I am also finding something oppressive or at least overwhelming about this. There is some money flowing into the maintenance of these graves, which are also a symbol of status and an ultimate expression of people’s egos. This in turn touches upon my own ego and leaves me behind with mixed feelings.

As much as I am occupied with the topic of death and the dead, I am part of a generation that will likely not enjoy the luxury of such post-mortem vanity. In truth, it has always been only a small part of humanity to take part in such luxury. Further, the fate of today’s youth is likely, to dissolve into spirit and not leaving much traces of physical existence behind. The larger mankind grows, the less space it will have for its exponentially growing amount of bodies. Neither are the monuments built over decades to last forever. However, they help to implement and strengthen the status of a few over a certain period.

Yet I keep returning to these places, which exhibit at least 2 centuries of opulent European grave culture, while caught in a dichotomy between the modern world and the past, between ego obsessions and spiritual ideals, between personal emotions and the need for detachment.

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Nordfriedhof Düsseldorf

10 May

May 7th, 2019, Nordfriedhof Düsseldorf

Fall 2018

5 Nov

Fall is here, death is here, but the flowers keep on flowering

Gallery

Flowers of Death

7 May

Anna Krajewksi Photography

3 May

One of those rare occasions to have my photo taken (see last time). This time artist/photographer Anna Krajewski caught the moment with her Nikon camera. I like the result, the natural sunlight permeating through a dark roof of leaves tracing my silhouette. The other capture shows me bowing and lighting a candle before a flowering cherry tree, before gathering a handful of blossoms.

Night Life and July Devils 2017

1 Aug

New series about the secret life taking place in the garden at night. Because these are sleepless summer nights and I am nocturnal again for various reasons.

I am spending most of my summer working and enjoying time in our garden. Hence dedicating again the monthly theme to this topic. The new flower beds are finished at last and new plants are added on a weekly basis. The black flower theme is coming along nicely. For more visit my garden blog.

June Devils 2017

1 Jul

 

Impressions from my month of June, including my ritual for the summer solstice 2017.

View the entire Flower Devils series here.