The place where James Douglas Morrison, better known as Jim Morrison, lies to rest. His body entombed under cement and granite, engraved with the dates of his 27 year human existence. Vandalized and idolized. Crowds of people from across the globe stand in awe of this small landmark, barricaded and hidden by the larger tombs. Snapping pictures, smoking cigarettes, conversing in hushed voices as if afraid to raise the dead. What is it that we come here to find? An understanding of what it was like to be Jim Morrison? Clues to a past? Hints for a future? A glimpse of mortality? Or perhaps a longing for something, a seeking of connection to an era, to an idea, to a way of life and a way to express ourselves? Or is it as simple a thing as just another site to see, a tourist trap like the Eifel Tower? The answer isn’t so clear to me as I try to soul search myself for the reason I wandered around in search of this grave. As cliché as it may sound I felt propelled to go there, to pay my respect, to a man who tried to break free of the ideals and confines that society has installed. He tried and in many ways he succeeded. And in those successes he made a deep and profound impression on an entire world and I find that to be quite noble, even though in the end he was perhaps his own worse enemy, trapped by his own ideals with a longing to escape.
September 23, 2010
Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise