Tag Archives: running away

Running Away Part 2 : Memorial Park Cemetery Crystal Grotto

grotto4bwwebMany might choose Paris or Istanbul as a runaway destination. Having only a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and an expired passport eliminated those possibilities. Instead, Memorials Park Cemetery was my destination, a road trip of about eight miles.The cemetery is home to the Crystal Grotto and its fantasy shaped structures.I chose my infrared camera because it would accentuate the otherworldly feel . I viewed  the cave and tree as imaginary housing, fit for visiting sprites or hobbits.

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grotto1origblur-web The faux bois structures suit the park well and it’s hard to believe they are cement.A folk artist from Mexico, Dionicio Rodriguez created the vision from his imagination. Hired by the cemetery’s founder, Clovis Hinds, Rodriguez earned $75.00 per week over a ten year period during the Depression. His creations are dream – like and religiously significant.

grotto5bw-web Working in steel and copper to form supports, the structures were formed in cement over wire. Using his hands, twigs and dinner utensils for tools, he simulated wood structures that suggest fairies and woodland creatures.Calling his work, “el trabajo rustic”, Rodriguez built Abraham’s Oak that towers 15 feet tall and 9 feet in diameter.

grottotreebw-web There is the Cave of Machpelah which is named for a burial cave from the Holy Land. The reflecting pool is the Pool of Hebron, and the Grotto appears as a mountain shaped form which houses the crystal cave. All are entirely hand-built. Walking into the cave you are stunned to find formations of limestone, rock quartz crystal and cement forming backgrounds for murals of scenes of the life of Jesus.

grottoint1-blur-web The artwork  and grotto are on the National Register of Historic Places.

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muralgrottowebMentally moving into the imaginative structures provided a needed break. I returned home energized  and without expense or jet lag.


Running Away from my Blog

runawaynote-webLast week I came across this note attached to the door of the classroom across the hall. My friend’s seven year-old son had left it for her that morning. It made me laugh and got me thinking. I realized that as a child I had never tried running away. Some people run because of anger, boredom, a desire to travel – so what was wrong with me? Maybe back then life wasn’t so bad where I was or maybe my sense of adventure was still developing. Now it would be so easy to compile a list of exotic destinations from Paris to Istanbul, dreams of the Orient Express or steamers across the ocean.Of course during the school year, it just isn’t practical or affordable.Lately though,  at least for the last three weeks, it seemed I’d run away from my blog. Inspiration evaporated, my lonely camera sat silently and unseeing on the counter, I felt caged. So , yesterday I ran away from home for a few hours .The fresh air helped to banish the stale ideas and fears.The fantasy aspect of my destination revived my imagination.The shadows inspired my camera. Running away was a healthy choice and in tomorrow’s post you’ll see some of the results.


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