Posted by: Naomi Baltuck | April 13, 2012

Life Will Out

While traveling in Argentina, we visited La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.   Since 1822, nearly 5,000 mausoleums have been constructed  in the highest fashion of the times, from Baroque and Neo-Gothic to Art Deco and Art Nouveau.   La Recoleta is a city for the dead, with elegant marble tombs neatly laid out in blocks over fourteen acres.

Some are maintained, for love or pride. Others, like the poet Shelley’s statue of Ozymandias, have fallen into disrepair, covered with spider webs and graffiti, littered with broken glass and faded plastic flowers.  Feral cats stare warily from marble perches and skulk away sideways if approached.

We saw the grave of Eva Peron, and other statesmen, poets, generals, and presidents.

More interesting to me was the final resting place for a mother and her infant.  They were not famous, but clearly they were loved.  Did she and the child die in childbirth or were they swept away by an epidemic? In any case, a grieving husband and father was spared to erect this memorial. Was he able to pick up the pieces of his broken life to find happiness again?

Wherever we go, we find reminders of all the stories in this world that will never be told.  When I photographed this memorial, I could be certain of only two things.  Both mother and child were subject to an early and tragic demise.  And, as seen by the lush green fern sprouting from the dust collecting in the cracks in the stone, life goes on.

All images and words copyright Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare.

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Responses

  1. beautiful pic beautiful post

  2. Lovely, and very true.

    • Hi Katie,
      Thank you! I appreciate your visit and taking the time to comment.

  3. So beautiful. Will resonate through the ages. LOVE it.

    • Hi Tess, thank you so much for your visit. You’re right, some things are timeless.

  4. I love the mother and child imagery. Sparks the imagination and the heart.

    • Thank you! Beautiful and heartwrenching.

  5. Hi,
    What a beautiful memorial that someone built for this loving mother and child, and I agree it does make you wonder about what happened and what was left behind. A beautiful photo, and a lovely post.

  6. Thank you, Mags!

  7. Very touching…

    • Thank you, Kavi. I appreciate your stopping by.

  8. How moving…

  9. Holy cow! That has to be the most gorgeous and sad memorial statue I’ve ever seen! The best detail, for me, is the mattress and pillows. He didn’t want them to be uncomfortable. I’ve always winced whenever I see those sarcophagus lids with the portraits lying on them…it looks so cold and uncomfortable for a resting place for eternity! *hugs* Thanks for showing me this…I’ll remember it forever!

    KC

    • Hi KC, I noticed that too. It seemed very unusual, sad, but beautiful. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this.

  10. Beautiful entry Naomi! I considered an image from the Recoleta cemetary as well! There were some really poignant stories there!

    • Hi Madhu! La Recoleta was one of the most memorable couple of hours I spent in Argentina. It was transporting! So many stories! What else did you see while you were there? I look forward to seeing your pictures. Thank you for your visit.

  11. I enjoyed your post!

    • Thanks so much. I appreciate your visit. I still remember your post with the beautiful roses!

  12. This is wonderful. Both the subject and the photography. It turned out so beautifully.

  13. Lovely picture, lovely thoughts. Thanks. I especially liked the pillows!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer, and taking the time to comment. I liked the pillows too!

  14. I felt peace looking upon that picture, quietly a few seconds. It is so, so peaceful.

    • I too found this sculpture evoked, among many other emotions, one of quiet serenity, though tinged with sadness. Thank you for your visit, and your thoughtful comment.

  15. Argentina is a top destination of mine. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks!

    • Hi Anna, thank you so much for your visit. Argentina was like nowhere I had ever been before. My son is going over next year on a Fulbright, so I am sure I will be going back. Where did you visit, and what did you love most?

      • Congratulations to your son. That’s wonderful! I should’ve been clearer– I’ve never been to Argentina but it’s on the top of my “Places I Want to Go” list. I grew up with neighbors from Argentina and have since been intrigued with the place. I wish your son the best of luck!

  16. Lord, how lovely. It’s almost too realistic. How could the family endure the memory every time they looked at it? Only people accustomed to early death could, I think. Are the woman and baby marble too? The whole thing is breathtaking.

    Did you snap Ozymandias? Ah, I would love to see that one. One of my favorite poems from childhood!

    • Hi George. Thank you so much for visiting. This piece was fascinating to me too, in so many ways. The sculptor was certainly talented. As for Ozymandias, I have always loved that poem–I memorized it in fifth grade and have never forgotten it.

  17. Great entry for 2 subjects my friend ,excellent work 🙂

  18. THAT is amazing. On so many levels. Wow.

    • Thank you, Sue! Sometimes I am touched deeply by a sight and take the photo home with me, only knowing that I have been touched. It lives with me and I think about it, and I come to understand why.

  19. Beautiful image with moving thoughts. That is sad to hear that both mother and child left this world too early. These words just came out vividly true, “Wherever we go, we will find reminders of all the stories in this world that will never be told.” Thanks for sharing an inspiring post. Have a great day.

    • It is very sad, but I have the feeling that here on Earth, they were loved very much. Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful reply. I appreciate your visit.

  20. […] Writing Between the LinesLife Will Out […]

  21. Thank you for that wander around the cemetery in Argentina. The mother and child’s memorial was lovely and it is nice to think that although they went young they were loved. Makes you wonder about he who was spared.

  22. What a thought provoking and heart felt post. Lovely.

  23. […] Writing Between the Lines Life Will Out […]


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