Sunday, February 8, 2009

Parrots, Battles, and Burial Grounds

Yesterday, Tyler and I decided to take a trip to the historical Greenwood Cemetery. I took this spooky pic from my phone while trying to get a shot of the wild parrots of Brooklyn (if you look carefully, you may be able to see them).
It seems morbid to visit a cemetery, never mind dedicate a blog post to it, but I have to tell you, I found some real inspiration there. The cemetery is a final resting place for roughly 600,000 people including Horace Greely, "Boss" Tweed, and Leonard Bernstein, just to name a few. Wandering around the beautiful grounds, learning about the little known Battle of Brooklyn Heights (the first battle fought in the revolutionary war), reaching the tallest point in Brooklyn to see the statue of liberty, and entering the lovely little chapel designed by the architect of Grand Central Station was fascinating.
As a writer, I found these burial grounds truly inspiring. There are technically countless stories in that cemetery and I am inspired to tell at least a few of them in the course of my lifetime. And I know there are plenty of name generators online to help writers name their characters, but every headstone had a unique name carved in and, more importantly, represented a life. A life that has a story.
By this time, you probably think I'm a bit morbid for finding inspiration in a cemetery but people's lives are interesting. That's why we read books and watch television and movies, and even obsess over who the next Bachelor is going to pick. Maybe we're all mistaken when we think of cemeteries as a symbol of death rather than life. Food for thought...

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