Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thematic Photographic 59 - Elemental

Someone was here
Montreal, QC, July 2009

It's a tradition when visiting a Jewish cemetery to place a rock on top of the headstone. It reminds others who may come afterward that someone had come to visit, that the person buried there has not been forgotten, that the continuity between generations that is so fundamental to our existence remains unbroken.

For ages, I had been tossing around the idea of visiting my grandparents' graves. They passed away long ago, and my memories of their resting places were limited to tear-filled funerals during which I was in no mood to take note of nearby landmarks or other identifying elements. Earlier this month, on a visit home, I got my chance. I'll share more about the experience in a future post, but I wanted to use this picture to kick off our latest Thematic Photographic theme, elemental.

What is elemental? My good friend, Mojo, suggested it, so I'll let him describe it:
My idea springs from the traditional "Earth-Air-Water-Fire" quartet, but it could be spun to include anything on the Periodic Table or further anything that is an elemental piece of some bigger thing. Like... Tinker Toys or Legos... or Chocolate chips. (Or eggs if you feel inclined to run afoul of the supermarket gestapo again...)
Your turn: As you consider your own spin on this very neat theme, please take a moment to thank the man himself for letting me use his idea this week.

If you're new to the Thematic Photographic experience, read on. Otherwise, happy shooting!
  • Every Wednesday evening, at precisely 7 o'clock Eastern, I post a new Thematic Photographic entry.
  • Each entry has a unique theme. This week's is...elemental!
  • You post a similarly themed image over on your blog.
  • You paste a link to your entry in a comment here.
  • If you've already posted something that fits (on a blog, Facebook, MySpace, wherever) simply post the link to the existing entry. Old or new, all photos are welcome.
  • You may post as many photos or links as you wish. For the next week, I'll be supporting this theme with a related picture/posting each day. I encourage you to do the same. This is all about sharing, so feel free to share to your heart's content!
  • Please share this link with friends, too, and encourage them to join in. The more, the merrier.
  • And please accept my thanks for your enthusiasm. Your participation has made TP a true highlight for me each and every week.


kenju said...

I had never heard that tradition, Carmi, and I think it is one that other groups ought to adopt. Some leave flowers, but they wilt so fast and the rock will last forever (or until someone knocks it off).

Mojo said...

I had a vague recollection of hearing about this at some point, but in my dotage I don't remember things so well as I used to, so I can't recall who told me about it. Could have been one of a number of people I suppose. And I agree with Kenju, if not this exact tradition, then something similar. Something that says "This person was here, he or she has moved on, but we remember. We mark the date, we keep the memory. Because they mattered. This is important."

Oddly enough when I suggested "Elemental" as a theme, I had nothing in particular in mind for it. So I'm leading off with my original plan. And our first installment is:
Thematic Photographic 59: "Elemental" v.1.0 - "Earth"

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Carmi:

My post is "mineral."

Barbara said...

The rock on the gravestone is a lovely tradition. Sometimes I see resting places that look so ignored and I just try to spend a few minutes with them.

As for elemental, my photo is sculptured water.

Amanda said...

Ok so everyone just might stroke out not only am I here but early mine is Gem/mineral. Carmi I had heard of this tradition I see non-Jew widows as well as Jewish at military cemeteries observing this tradition.... the photo is very sweet.

Love 2Bs said...

I am curious to continue reading about your experience. I owe my great grandmother a visit at her resting place. I promised her spirit I would put flowers on her grave if she would stay with me through the birth of my first son and make sure he turned out OK. You've reminded me that she is still waiting.

I have an elemental post. This week it's just one photo. I went for the “Earth-Air-Water-Fire” aspect. Please stop by. said...

What an interesting theme, I really love the idea of remembrance with the stone. They do this amazing thing over here in the UK called Cairns (pile of stones) to mark the way of a footpath through the hills, I have a photo somewhere which I will post later but for now here is my offering.

Here is My Elemental

Vardit said...

Sometimes I think the stones on my parent's tombstone keep tombstone from falling over and other times I think it would be nice to plant a rock garden on top of their double tombstone.

Vita Stunder said...

I never heard of of that tradition before either, Carmi.

Great shot and post!

My first elemental post is up! :)


Anonymous said...

I've never heard of that tradition, but I like it.

Mine's HERE

The Redhead Riter said...

Cool idea.
I've never heard of that tradition, but it is nice.

Wishing you a Tremendous Thursday

hapzydeco said...

Took a walk down to the lake. This water lily brightened what was up to then a dreary day.

Pyrobutterfly said...

I've heard of that tradition but I can't remember where I heard about it, I guess its a bit like taking flowers to lay at a grave.

Okay so here goes I'm new to Themeatic Photographic, but uhm this is my entry for this theme.

Mojo said...

Pardon my tardiness folks, but I've been busily preparing for a long-overdue break from the ratrace so I'm just now getting around to linking this up. Hopefully I'll have internet serv ice where I'm going, but if not, have a great weekend!
Thematic Photographic 59: "Elemental" v.2.0 - "Fire" said...

Hi all

my verion 2

Here is Mine

Vita Stunder said...

My second Elemental is up! :)

Have a great saturday!

Vita Stunder said...

My Version 3 is up! :)


Vita Stunder said...

My 4th version is up! :)

Have a great week!

Half Gouda said...


Anonymous said...

Carmi, there is a timeless significance to this beautiful tradition. Thank you for sharing this piece of your story, your history, your life.

"The 'now' that passes produces time; the 'now' that remains produces eternity." (roughly translated from the Latin, Boethius)