Saturday, August 8, 2009

Journal Entry - Week 6 - Further Exploration

Today, we took quite the walk. It was very enjoyable as this was one of the reasons why I took the class—great scenery and exercise! Walking about the grounds is clearly the best way to understand and physically digest the cemetery. Our first stop was the famous Dexter chapel and mausoleum complex. Once I moved beyond its massive appeal and intricacy, I had to ask myself, “Why would they choose this as their way of acknowledging their life?” The name “Dexter” is not of any importance to my personal knowledge today, so one must ask how they amassed such a fortune. Well, like many others here, the development of alcoholic beverages (primarily beer) was their means of income. Like I tried to point out several times throughout this multi-week journey, what is this telling us about our culture? That is, the more prominent legacies of people at Spring Grove are centered on some of the very things that, if not consumed responsibly, will do more harm than good. So then I ponder, should they have honestly said (rather implied) in building such monstrosities, “Hey! Look at me and remember what I did during my life! And if you follow my example, you can have a massive, multifaceted, memory to your name, too! Drink up!” My answer would be a resounding “no”. Oops! I seemed to have rambled off on a tangent about morality and ethics. Okay, back to the topic at hand.

Continuing our roam through the grounds, we came across many “Kodak” moments and very eccentric monuments and markers. When we moved in on the Sphinx, I was actually a bit disappointed. I thought it would be somewhat grander than it was. Nevertheless, it is still a hidden jewel of Spring Grove. I do hope we have the opportunity to go on more extensive walks in the remaining weeks of the term. I find that my more novel and creative thoughts are provoked by the sensual contact of the query at hand. In addition, I LOVE taking pictures!

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