Thursday, May 19, 2011

Greenwood Cemetery

Just up the street from my house is an abandoned cemetery. Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1863, but has graves from a few years before that. It's the oldest established cemetery in the state of Kansas, but it's in pretty rough shape. The city comes by and mows every so often, but that's about it as far as maintenance goes.

I walk in this cemetery often. I find my own kind of spirituality there; I don't believe in an afterlife or heaven or deity of any kind, but being in the cemetery reminds me that under my feet are the remnants of lives lived and that I exist BECAUSE of them, whether it be directly or indirectly. It grounds me, it calms me, and I enjoy the solitude and peace there.

So, I've decided to take on a clean up project. I talked to the City Parks manager and have his blessing to tidy the place up. I have plans to plot the graves I can find with a GPS - I have a list of names of people buried there, so I'm going to try and eventually map where they're at. I'd also like, at some point, to petition the State Historical Society to designate the cemetery a historical landmark or place of significance, but that's a long way in the future.

It's a big job. A HUGE job, really. I'm trying so hard to take it one step at a time; to not get ahead of myself, but it's difficult. It's not my style to be patient and methodical, I'm more chaotic and tend to do things with gusto. This is going to be a learning experience for me: an exercise in completing one thing before I start another and a chance to be dogged and methodical. I hope to spend at least three or four mornings a week in the cemetery and if I'm well enough I'd like to go up there every day. My health has not been the best recently; I spent a week as an inpatient with a gastric bleed and ended up firing my gastroenterologist. My new guy ran some different tests and got some new results that point to me having Crohn's disease. I'm on 10mg prednisone twice a day, which is really helping with the Crohn's symptoms, but has thrown me into steroid-induced diabetes so I'm having to test my blood sugars and adjust my diet accordingly. Hopefully it will go away when I come off the steroids in a few months. In the meantime, we're starting Imuran. I'm actually happy with the care he's providing; for the first time I feel like I can hand myself over to him and let him sort me out, rather than not trusting him totally and trying to help steer my care.

Life is good, y'all. It might be painful some days, and some days it's sad and I feel glum, but for the most part, I feel good. Life is good.


Anonymous said...

I think it's really cool what you're doing. Sounds like a way to create some beauty for people to enjoy. That reminded me of something I did as a child on a smaller scale. When I was really young my dad used to take me to this park, and there was a little clearing off of one of the trails and it was obviously a hangout spot for the local teen croud, and they did not take care to keep it clean. So every week for quite a while, my dad and I would go there and pick up the trash. We even had a name for the spot: "Paradise grove". It was a good feeling knowing we were having some impact, and I'm sure you're getting that feeling too! Hope you're on the mend!

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