imageSepulcher, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Growing up as a kid, I never heard the word sepulcher, much less the idea of storing dead bodies above ground. When people died you buried them, the end. When I was old enough to learn that Jesus was buried in a cave with a rock for a door I was skeptical, but dad was a minister, and he knew all about this stuff so I learned to accept it.

Over the years I’ve had occasions to visit cemeteries and some of them had vaults, often very elaborate, but basically they are just closets where we keep bodies we can’t bring ourselves to bury. Places like New Orleans, with water just below ground, are exceptions of course.

I found this place about the third time I visited this cemetery, though I’ve been back many times. It’s very plain, as one would expect of those trifty, conservative New Englanders, and to me the most striking thing about it is the patina. It’s what happens if you build something and then just leave it alone for a couple of hundred years.

I photographed this view of the barred door with the cast iron vent (to let the spirits escape?) in late afternoon with the sun setting behind the building putting the door in soft blue shade.

*From the Latin sepulcrum for “burial place”, but you probably knew that.

Pentax K5IIs with 70mm f2.4 lens.




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