Sometimes I like to flit through my Instagram and reminisce. I’ve had that Instagram for around five years, and even though I’m a crap photographer and over edit all my photos (yup – guilty as charged), the memories still flood my senses as I browse through at rapid speed. And then it hits me…
I was there, and it wasn’t a dream.
I felt like sharing this photo because this has been one of the places that has always stuck with me. While my mother jokes I may have brought back more than souvenirs, I can’t forget this place. Sometimes I dream of the snaking vines and the hollow wind and the creaking trees as me and my new friend creeped through the graveyard. We hoped on a train and got of a random station in Berlin and after a Decaf Giraffe coffee we found ourselves peering through a gate with the unspoken urge to soak this place in.
It was beautiful.
The photo doesn’t do it any justice at all, but as we were being supervised by strict German ladies who wanted nothing more than to go home (and didn’t speak a lick of English but waved five fingers very severely a few times) I could only snap a few quick photos on my phone.
It’s unfortunate that you can’t see the crumbling tombstones or the gargoyles hanging off the crypts that looked like they would fall apart any moment, or that some crypts had stained glass doors kept in good condition, a few had candles, weathered cushions, or weary books and bibles, and unfortunately you can’t feel the weight of the air like the very bricks and stones are holding their breath. But when I look at this picture I can still feel my boots scratch the blisters on my feet and my hat flop as I trip over loose stones. The haze sits like a memory just out of reach whispering a haunting melody to dancing vines, caressing the rough legs of ancient giants. There was nothing like the breath of fresh air you never knew you longed for as you stepped out of the gates and into the street, trying to clear your mind of the fog that crept in and hugged your thoughts.
Sometimes it returns, cold as the Arctic breeze.
And then it’s gone.
Luckily I recognized the transit map and have determined that this was Jüdischer Friedhof Schönhauser Allee.