Wednesday, January 21

Monumental Creativity

There is no question that I have been blessed by being in the presence of places of ancient sacredness whose spirituality seeps through the decades and centuries to the present.  There are some places that have an enigmatic circumstance in their creation.  Such are some of the large architectual and artistic landmarks.  They are intricate collections of stone arranged in a unique pattern that is also completely understood to be directed by human will. 

There are ruins of archeological significance that capture the imagination, like the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico or ancient cities abandoned long ago or just left over puzzles that has yet to be solved. These are not like skyscrapers or the modern giant shopping malls or warehouse grocery stores.

The first picture is one such place in Wisconsin. 
Bird Rock Effigy - Hager City, Wisconsin

Then these places of monumental art that have a particular spiritual quality to them. The builders have been individuals at the edge of their communities. Called crazy by some, eccentric by others, these builders and visionaries have been described honestly with all their quirkiness. The description could even be on the autistic by modern diagnostic standards. The places they have left us endure, complete with a certain intimacy that intrigue and baffle those that study them and write of their history. The explanations for building seem to be as distinct and different as the unique individuals who put extraordinary amounts of time, energy and resources into their creations.  At the same time, there is a similarity of form and structure.  There is no evidence these men even knew each other.  

[words, photographs and collages by John-Brian Paprock, all rights reserved]

Petrified Forest Monument Park in South Dakota

Holy Family Grotto in Wisconsin

Rudolph, Wisconsin

Holy Ghost park and shrine in Dickeyville, Wisconsin

Holy Ghost park and shrine in Dickeyville, Wisconsin

Holy Ghost park and shrine in Dickeyville, Wisconsin
Watts Towers in Los Angeles