Picnic in the Montparnasse Cemetery

My friends joined me for lunch today-- the four of us enjoying a picnic in the Montparnasse Cemetery. Lili had brought a towel, laying it onto the carefully manicured grass patch in the cemetery center.

We'd get scolded, by security on duty, for sitting there at the end of the hour. But we pretended we only spoke a little French and that, naturally, we hadn't know it wasn't allowed.

For the hour of lunch, we sat and talked, catching up on our lives over the past two weeks we all hadn't seen each other. It was an hour of enjoying each other’s company and of conversation solely in English.

But it also marks the last time the four us would spend time as a group. Lili and Amelia return home tomorrow- Lili to Berlin, Amelia to California. Mariene leaves to travel for a bit starting Sunday. I'll get to see her for a few days in July. And then I leave, at the beginning of August.

I've got Chabad to thank for these girls-- for all the summer friendships I've created. But just as quickly as they're created, so too do they refresh, renew, move on. Distance separates us, for now. Maybe we'll see each other again in the future, reminisce over the memories of our time abroad. Or maybe we won't.

Either which way, we've all got the memories to hold onto. And for that, we're all quite lucky. 

2 Response to Picnic in the Montparnasse Cemetery

Anonymous
August 8, 2012 at 7:11 PM

You don't find that creepy? Honestly, eating on the ground where not five feet down from you is a dead body stuffed in a coffin, you're able to keep your food down? Please understand, I mean no disrespect, but this idea fascinates me. It gives me chills.

August 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I completely understand your comment, and absolutely don't take it disrespectfully!

I wish I could describe it to paint the most accurate picture... but Parisian cemeteries are incredible. The grounds themselves are stunning-- surrounded by gorgeous greenery around the rows of incredible headstones/ grave markers. There are always a flow of people within the cemetery, be it tourists in search of famous graves (which I find an odd thing to do! But that's the opinion of one who eats in a cemetery.. haha!) or those sitting to read or eat lunch on the many benches spread around the cemetery. I spent one of my last day's in Paris taking pictures of the cemetery... my first time taking pictures of a cemetery given I've never felt it right to do so. But I wanted to try to capture the essence of the cemetery. And I got a shot of a woman pushing a twin stroller with two kids seated in it... There's the contrast of new life with the surrounding graves of those who have passed on. I would agree it was disrespectful to be eating on the grass path that we clearly were not supposed to be sitting on! But to be celebrating the process of life is what I got from the Montparnasse Cemetery. If you're ever in Paris, I really would suggest taking a look! And maybe even trying out a picnic lunch ;)

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