Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

cemetary & city pmThis morning I thought my death might be imminent.  I hadn’t finished my first cup of coffee yet when the carbon monoxide alarm started beeping.  I called my husband at work.  He didn’t seem too worried, and said he’d come home at lunch. “If I’m dead by the time you get here, you’ll know why,” I told him.

I poured another cup of coffee and turned to the internet.  Then I  called my husband back and told him, never mind.  By then, we’d both figured out that the intermittent beeping meant that the device itself was dying (not me!).  So I ordered a new alarm.

There is nothing that lifts your day so quickly as to think you might be close to death one minute, and discover in the next that, nope.  Not today.

And nothing says juxtaposition like the stones that mark a passing as they stand in witness to the life that carries on.

You can check out the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge here.

40 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

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    • Oh, please – someone needs to be the voice of reason for me. Otherwise, I’d go completely off the rails. 😉

      I did think to open the front door, and then I saw that FedEx had left a package (my tea), and I was momentarily distracted from thoughts of doom. Fortunately, at the core of my wild imaginings, there was a tiny kernel of common sense that told me if it was a REAL alert, the beeping would be more insistent.


    • Very good eye, Su! The photo was taken in Canterbury, England. I didn’t realize I had even gotten any of the town wall in this shot, until you asked the question, yup. Sure enough, it’s there. I was so intent on capturing the old cemetery against the backdrop of a busy street.

      Thanks for the comment.


      • Thanks Mary; I hadn’t thought of Canterbury, probably as it’s so long since I’ve been there. I love your shot; the cemetery looks both still and vibrant with colour – yet juxtaposes beautifully with the bustle and modernity of the street.


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    • Thanks, Lee. I was thinking about the morning’s hubbub when I read the Challenge. Then, when I was going through my photos looking for “juxtaposition” this one jumped out at me! It was a very old cemetery — one of the more “modern” stones was dated 1855. It was probably a lot more peaceful originally.


    • Thank you. Also, I did open the door a couple of times. When I saw that I had a package on the porch, I slipped my boots on and went out to get it. I actually “almost” locked myself out. That would have been something. I was still in my nightgown!


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  6. I love how the only legible tombstone (in the photo) is the one front and center–1855. Also love the growth of wildflowers (do you know the Dolly song? “Wildflowers don’t care where they grow”) and the vivid greenery of the grass–it really pops. I should like to rest in such a place. The fact that there is now a Borders Bookstore at hand is the cherry on top.

    “And what do we say to death? Not today…” xo


    • I know, right!? I have visions of the dead rising out of their slumber and sauntering over in the still of the night to do a little night reading while it’s quiet.

      Yes, we say No! Not today. 😀


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  8. Your story reminded me of when i came home late in the evening last summer, and realized my house had been broken into. I called a friend, told him that I’d had a break in and that I was going in the house with him on the phone so that if anyone was still in there, he could be on the phone with me. His words? “Get out of the house -now!”.
    As you said above, we somehow know when things are wrong … the beeping would have been more insistent.
    Love the photo, Mary!! Perfect for the challenge.
    (and by the way … so glad it was the battery and not a real problem and that you are okay!)


    • Oh, my gosh. Having your house broken into is terrifying! If I’d been watching you on a scary movie I’d have been screaming – NO! Don’t go in the house! But they also do go in the house, or down in the basement, and they end up – well, you know.

      The really funny thing is that later in the evening the CO detector started beeping again even though I’d unplugged it. So I asked my husband to go take the back-up battery out of it. A minute later he came into the room laughing. “Did you read the back of this?” he asked.

      Of course I hadn’t. Then he read aloud what the really, really small print said: Seven years after initial power up this unit will “chirp” every 30 seconds to indicate that it is time to replace the alarm.

      We had a good laugh over that.


  9. Awhile back, our carbon monoxide alarm was going off every Saturday morning shortly after my husband left the house. As this was my only day to sleep in, I was peeved because I had to haul my butt out of bed and go downstairs, open the windows, and stand in the cold until the alarm would go off or my husband would come home. After about a month of this — I finally figured out that my husband was warming up his motorcycle in our garage…with the door closed. The furnace (and CO alarm) is just across from the door that leads from the garage to the house — so all of that exhaust was coming right into the house and setting off the alarm.

    Needless to say, he has been asked to warm up his motorcycle on the driveway now,


    • Oh, my. Something like that would have driven me to exhaustion panicking. At least, I now know a lot more about CO alarms in general, and our new alarm arrived today! I figure we’re good for another 7 years.

      We don’t have a motorcycle or a garage (much to my husband’s dismay). Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


    • Thanks, Cathy. Heading over to your place to look at juxtaposition. I saw it on my phone the other day, but I could only see the fish and not your husband. I’m wish iPhone would make their screen a little bigger. Great phone, though. I’m so spoiled by technology!


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  14. Oh my, this is vivid and true. My late grandma used to say, “Death comes in instalments; every day one gets closer to their last, to lying down there.”

    I know it’s hidden from me — how and when I’ll draw my last breath. But I always tell myself that I’d like to make the best of my last, if I should know. Enjoying a nice cup of tea (and perhaps a beautiful view to go with) ain’t bad at all.

    Mary, I love the way you handle these photo challenges. You always bring something new to the table. Thanks for sharing.


  15. interesting photo.. there is a shopping mall nearby that has a cemetery in the parking lot… when i think of my final resting place I am more inclined to be cremated rather have stone mark…. but I love the contrast between the stones and the shops… the green lush grass, interesting.


    • Thank you, Clay. I took the photo while strolling through Canterbury, England with some friends. Here in New England there are a lot of old cemeteries, but they are usually enclosed and set off a bit from traffic. This cemetery was in the middle of things, and from where I was standing it felt to me that the stones were all watching the shoppers and strollers going about their lives. I found it oddly comforting. I

      I am a bit of an oddball, I suppose.


  16. Very funny post. You know you are married when he decides whatever it is can wait until lunchtime and further that you’re sort of okay with it. I had to laugh because my dog flips out anytime the carbon monoxide alarm or smoke detectors beep and it takes a good half hour and many cookies to settle her down. I probably will die if carbon monoxide ever permeates my house, because whenever the alarm sounds instead of running for the door I run for the cookie jar. Hope to see you tomorrow unless we’re both deceased. 🙂


    • Thanks, Laurel. Oh, your poor dog. I know just how she feels, though I wish I would have had cookies to calm my nerves! I have a new alarm in place and this one is good for 10 years. It also has a digital readout so that I will know exactly what’s up the next time it beeps. 🙂


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