On my way to work this morning, which now involves a 20 minute walk to the 2 train because there seems to be an awful lot of "police activity at Barclay Center" that delays the B train in the mornings (why is there police activity at 8:30 AM? Is "police activity" maybe a euphemism for "we messed up when we built the Barclay Center, and it's really fucking up traffic?) I decided to duck into the cemetery on Church Avenue near Flatbush. I'm pretty sure this is the church of Church Avenue; here's a bit of history of the area. A gorgeous little stone deal, with an old cemetery with stones dating back to the 1700s. I grew up in a town with an old cemetery in the center—I (and many kids who grew up in Harvard) walked through it most every day when we were young, taking the footpath from the school to the General Store, or to sit on The Wall.
So I was on my way to work, and it was brisk but sunny out, and I had left on time, and I was going to the reliable train, so when I got to the cemetery, I decided to duck in for a while, and try to imagine what it might have been like when this part of Brooklyn wasn't full of honking cars and vast stores with questionable goods (about which I heard the following comment a couple blocks before I got to the cemetery: "This store is so bootleg.")
And it was lovely. And a reminder of the preciousness of this life, which we all depart on a certain date, and if we are lucky and have lived well, we have people who care enough to mark that, with a stone or just in their hearts.