Monday, May 21, 2018

Hope Cemetery

Do a double-take.
Read this sign again: “HOPE Cemetery"
—clear, bold, and large.

Is it not true?
With death, unanswered questions become answered questions. What remains for hope's good work? 

Hope Cemetery
Bob Komives

In life, hope has much to do.
I can live with hope to lose weight, but pallbearers will know: I did or I did not.

You and I might hope to get rich.
Will we?—a boring, unanswered question. Did we?—More interesting, perhaps, but—simply—"no" or "yes." If alive and already rich, we hope to stay that way. Yet, beneath a tombstone, such hope likely turns to smile or frown.

As to afterlife
(no matter our belief and hope) we can agree nobody looks around heaven and says, "I hope I get to be here."

In quandary I asked clear-thinking friends for help. One suggested I misread the sign, but I have faith in the quality of my double-take.

"Perhaps the message in the name is for us—not them," said others. “As we pass by we remember those who have passed away, but we should also remember to treasure each day, appreciate our ancestors, our heritage, the continuity of life.” I like these thoughts but have difficulty calling them hope.

“It is obvious”, said another, “the graveyard is for jerks, scoundrels, miscreants. Our hope is that they will stay dead.” I try to be open to this view, but—as a city planner—I think of how such intentional land use would destroy tourism and real estate value.

I warm more to a suggestion that resident graveyard hope need not be profound. “Mundane items that haunt us while alive may persist into our grave. For example: 'I hope I remembered to turn off the gas on the stove.' " That thought may well hit coffin-nail on the head.

But yet another suggestion 

allows me to puzzle no more:

  In HOPE Cemetery, hopes do co-mingle.
  Both the living and the dead hope
      to be remembered well,
      to be remembered clearly.
      by those who once explored and opened paths
      that remain open before us,
    and remembered
      by those who will advance or retreat
      0n paths we leave behind us.

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2018 :: Hope Cemetery :: 1613 

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