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Shadowplay in La Recoleta

I have a thing for cemeteries. Everywhere I go in the world, I usually visit the homes of the dead. In Paris: Père Lachaise. In Savannah: Bonaventure.

Therefore, it was to my great delight that I was able to stop by La Recoleta when in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Famous as the burial site of celebrities such as Eva Peron -- it's often ticked off lists by tourists who simply think they're supposed to go there.

Perhaps I was no different. Excepting that I went with the eye of a photographer. What fascinated me about the famous cemetery was the play of light and shadows amongst the graves. In the hot sun of a South American afternoon the sky seemed somehow more cobalt, the yellow a bit brighter, the white of the stone almost blinding. It became a place of true beauty and not of sadness.

I thought about what it means to leave something behind when one is gone, what legacies last and what dies with us. I thought about how many people fear and revile cemeteries or how many people simply don't understand them. I tried to muster in my own mind anything other than appreciation for the beauty of the art and sculpture that was is so many people's last legacy in Buenos Aires. I couldn't see La Recoleta as anything less than beautiful. I wonder if on a gray day I would have felt differently...

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