Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Graves, the City of the Dead

...I visited Loureauville, on bike (loaned for my stay by the aunt and uncle who picked me up from the depot); and in Loureauville I saw the elementary and high school; and visited the graves of my grandparents and sister, who are buried in the cemetery near a church I sometimes attended when I was a boy. (My mother has bought her grave, and a grave marker, a marker she shares with my sister, bears my mother's birth year and is ready to receive her death date.) (The road to the church is not far from the elementary school, but I forgot that; and the church can be entered by another small road, and I finally stumbled upon that one.) I stopped by the church, and heard a very small portion of the mass, given by a black priest, attended by white altar children (one had longish hair and might have been a girl); and the congregants contained more whites than blacks, which was a surprise, for what had been, traditionally, a black church, a church erected partly because whites didn't want blacks in their church...The town is small, somewhat active, and not as pretty as St. Martinville. There are people at school, in car garages, a few women tending lawns, but hardly anyone at all walking on the sidewalk, as there was hardly anyone at all on the sidewalk in St. Martinville yesterday. There are some cars and trucks passing by, possibly more than I saw in St. Martinville. (Most of the people, especially the men, must be at work.) Certainly, these towns were more active when I was young? I remember them as being more active...How can a small place, with its small people, do such violence to the spirit? It is hard to believe: one's own imagination must help, and one's own doubts must help, must help to achieve the damage.