Meandering London

One of my favorite things about London is that it’s so vast you can live there for ages and never see certain parts of it. A random free day, not filled with library appointments or lectures, is best served (I think) by choosing a direction and just heading off . . . you never know what you find, even near your own neighborhood.

When my friend visited, we meandered to a beautiful gothic cemetery that features prominently in Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry. We’re both literary enthusiasts (we met in college as English majors), so the grey chill suited us just fine as we walked amongst the dead.

Moss-covered headstones, many ravaged by the elements, tilted at strange angles around tree roots. The carved inscriptions have faded away in some spots, leaving it up to those who come across it to imagine their lives. There’s something so quiet about it, shaded by the trees.

The whole experience made me think of the Edna St. Vincent Millay line–

“… but the rain/ Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh/ Upon the glass and listen for reply.”

 

 

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