I spent this morning driving around to local graveyards, looking for 18th C. gravestones to photograph — I’m giving a talk on 17th and 18th C. gravestones at the Whaling Museum in a couple of weeks, and I needed to get some visuals for the talk.
Had I spent the morning driving around in some other place, away from home — even had I been just twenty or thirty miles from the New Bedford area — I would have had much to write about. Travel has a way of opening our eyes; we laugh at tourists who come to our home town, and walk slowly, gawking, and stopping to take photographs of everything; but then when we go someplace new, we behave in exactly the same way.
Since I stayed near home, I didn’t see much. Even though I drove to one place I hadn’t really seen before — the Hixville section of Dartmouth — I didn’t pay any particular attention to it. I drove to it, found the cemetery I was looking for, quickly took photographs of a few gravestones, and left; all without having noticed much of anything beyond the gravestones.