Thursday, July 16, 2009

Journal Entry - Week 3 - Iconography & Symbolism

Today was an interesting class. I know; such an overused, broad reaching but shallow word. Okay. What about spellbinding? Yeah, that’ll work. I use this word because some of the hieroglyphic items we came across this week looked as if thought they came from a sinister spell or an enchanting, whimsical storybook. The theme associated with gravestone iconography is rather similar and unique at the same time. By that I mean the symbols have very similar meanings, however when several are pieced together on one particular gravestone or monument, they suddenly tell the story of that individual or family. Quite easily one is able to determine what that person(s) beliefs and ideals were or, rather, what they simply wished to be remembered for. What is curious about such symbolism is, at least at Spring Grove, the iconography stems from a definitive religion: Christianity. Perhaps it is the nature of the cemetery here, but is this basis just for other cemeteries in the region, state, country, etcetera?

In addition, I am still awestruck by the scenery here. That is, the rolling hills and beautiful backdrop reminiscent of an English countryside. However, I do find it to be too green. Where are the wildflowers and thousands of shades of color? For a nationally recognized arboretum, I am a bit disappointed. Most of what color there is seems confined to the front-most part of the cemetery. Maybe I should bring some wildflower seeds with me next week and drive around dispensing them from my car…

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