Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cemetery hands

during our little camping trip this weekend in the white mountains i also visited 2 cemeteries that we happened to drive by. when we drove home on sunday, we didnt take the boring, crowded highway but remained on the byroads, through tiny tiny towns. often just some houses along the road. here and there we passed a cemetery, usually also just a small field along the road. but the above one was a bit bigger. while i took some time to wander around, tim dried some of our soaked stuff in the hot sun; now suddenly it was dry in no time! i guess it must have been weird; a guy spreading out 3 huge tarps in the grass while some girl was taking pictures at the cemetery.... (at least there was no body in the tarp!)
this is in warren, a tiny town in new hampshire with a population of less than a 1000 people! the cemetery was a bit hilly, and the stones were sort of randomly placed in the grass. it seemed quite well maintained, but i couldnt find a name on any of the entrance gates (an actual fence was missing, btw). the mountains in the background made for a pretty scenery... i liked this set of stones, for their last name, as well as the first name; "cotton". i never heard of the name cotton... the poem on eliza's grave says this: "she has crossed the silent river, she has gained the brighter shore, where sickness pain and sorrow can come to her no more". although googling it taught me it can be found on more graves, i still liked it... unfortunately, i couldnt find anything about mr & mrs foot.
many of the graves on this cemetery also had the hand with the finger pointed upwards, as you can see above. i always find it funny to see those. somehow my mind formed this into an image where an actual hand sticks out of the grave, the buried actually not yet dead, or coming to life again... :) i never rationally thought about this, and that thats just very weird, nor wondered what the actual meaning of this symbol is. unitl julie showed some hands on gravestones recently, and i realized how ridiculous my thoughts were. some googling told me this; a hand with the finger pointing upwards means the hope of heaven, while a hand pointing downwards represents god reaching down for the soul (as julie had mentioned already); but i have not yet seen that one around here. as for tim; he said that a middle finger would have been more fun..... 
more taphophiles can be found here!

12 comments:

biebkriebels said...

Funny to read how you spend your free time on cemeteries. Who would ever put a finger downwards on a grave, only for criminals or so? Mysterious habit.

Julie said...

Okay ... I agree with Tim ... a middle finger would be heaps of fun ... so ... he's on ... let's work our way towards the middle finger ... let's see what we can find ... Mr Cotton Foot ... his parents must have been joking, surely ... I guess over here in Oz, if we had a cemetery in a 'lttle town' then named or unnamed, that would be 'little town' cemetery. Luckily for moi, all the cemeteries any where abouts, is easily and obviously named.

Tim said...

maybe a different appendage?

Nicola Carpenter said...

Ha ha. I've come across many a hand point up, but never a hand pointing down.

In the early 1800s being buried a alive was a real problem.

Beneath Thy Feet

Sylvia Neumann said...

why doesn't pointing down mean, this guy should go to hell???

Kay said...

I don't wander cemeteries that much so these up and down hands are new to me. I've always been taught not to point, regardless of which finger, though I was older before the middle one was put into use. . .

CaT said...

hahahahaha! sylvia!!! who knows!! :) but i have yet to find one.... i did see a handshake... but i forgot to take a picture of that one...

and nicola; yes, i hadnt even thought of that; getting buried alive. so maybe it is a living hand sticking up from the grave. maybe we just made something else out of it... ;)

Jack said...

Warren, New Hampshire? That is near Plymouth, just a bit northwest of Squam Lake. We visited Squam for vacation many years when my kids were young, and my daughter is going to be married there in two weeks. So, you found a beautiful part of our country.

I don't remember seeing the finger-pointing motif on tombstones, but it is similar to the sign that many religious athletes make after they succeed in a game. They point to the sky. I always thought that was a reference to God being in heaven or there is only one God, or something like that.

Halcyon said...

A middle finger would be funnier. But I have a feeling this was a serious couple. :)

hamilton said...

I am wondering if Cotton R Foot had a brother named Cotton L Foot.

CaT said...

@kay; yes, i was taught the same, no pointing... :D good point!
@jack; yes, NH, its very pretty there indeed...
@hamilton; hahahahahhaha, thats a good one!

Julie said...

Wonderful series of comments here.

Not sure about Tim's other appendage ... but I will have both eyes peeled ...