Tuesday, January 5, 2010


**photos by Elaine A. Russell

I know that the new year is all about beginnings... new birth so to speak... creativity... that spark that starts things rolling. Well... most times you can't have beginnings without endings as well.
I am not a morbid person. Anything but.
I have certainly had my share of loved ones who have passed on ... and having had cancer; I understand first hand the realization that life truly is short. For me though... it is not a scary, hush-hush topic. It is a reality that life as we know it does come to an end at some point... usually, not a point we necessarily expect...nor one we generally plan for. I also like to think of it as actually a more joyous time... a time when we get to be with our loved ones who have already passed... a time away from the pain, misery, and whatever else was our trial in this lifetime.

Today I stopped at the San Jose del El Rosario Cemetery. It is just off the I-25 south freeway onto Gibson Ave. When the highway was built in the 1960's... it looks like they literally shoved this cemetery to the side... It is very sad... Very unkempt... quite ... forgotten looking. Most of the graves are not even standing, let alone have any readable markers... The wear and tear of the desert winds and sun have taken a huge toll on this place. And yet... it is still being used.

In the midst of some of the weathered and worn sites, is a boxing ring – a memorial to a boxer, Vicente “Picosito” Garcia, who died at age 20 in 2006.

Most of the grave sights are outlined with rocks. Some are accented with bottles, flowers, even a toy car or two. Graves of little children are often surrounded by the sides of cribs. And there are alot of them. What would those children have gone on to do? What was their potential that somehow got misplaced ? or perhaps it was their goal to teach us more about death... and about life. To enjoy it while we have it. To live life to it's fullest. To become our absolute best... to live up to our innate potential.

And so ... that is my word for this year... Potential. What will be yours?

To see more about this cemetery: