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October 11, 2006

Phenomenon: The Circle of Life

When thinking about phenomena, I immediately thought of my favorite Disney movie, The Lion King, and the lesson Mufasa teaches Simba about the Circle of Life. Mufasa tells Simba, "When we die, our bodies become the grass. And the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life."

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"Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures-- from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope."

The Circle of Life is a phenomenon; it has things, frameworks, and clockworks. The lions, antelope, zebras, giraffes, and other animals make up the things in the Circle of Life.

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The Circle of Life has frameworks and clockworks; the animals repeatedly go through the same cycle. The circle of life also has specific starting points. It begins when an animal, for example, a lion, is born. The cycle is then predictable; the lion will eat other animals, and when the lion dies, he becomes the grass, and the animals eat the grass, and the cycle continue…

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Mufasa's Ghost

It's The Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life
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The Circle Continues

October 4, 2006

Genius Loci

When I heard this week’s blog prompt, I didn’t know exactly which “meaningful place? I would describe, but I did know that it would be a place in my hometown: Duluth. Duluth is a beautiful city, and will always be the place I call home. I have lived in Duluth all of my life, and so, naturally, it is filled with meaningful places. Which place would I choose? I began by thinking about the term Genius Loci.
The Genius Loci of place is its atmosphere, spirit, and guardian. When I thought of the Genius Loci of a place as the guardian of that place, it reminded me of a favorite hang-out place for me and my friends: “the wall?. Duluth is a hilly city, and across its hills there is a road called Skyline Parkway. Skyline Parkway is a common tourist attraction: people love driving across it because it provides a great view of the beautiful city below it. At the west end of Duluth, towards the end of Skyline Parkway is where “the wall? is located. The wall is simply that: a wall. It is situated high above the city and provides a magnificent view. I think of the wall as the guardian of Duluth: an ageless wall watching over an ever-changing city.

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"The wall" overlooking Duluth and Lake Superior.

The wall is meaningful to me not only because it provides a beautiful view of the city I love so much, but because it is filled with memories. My best friends and I spent much time there. It is a great place to sit and talk about school and stresses and boys, but also about and our hopes and dreams and fears for our futures. And if we don’t feel like talking, it is still a great place just to be together, to watch the sun set on the beautiful city, to eat a picnic or share a smoke. The wall will always be a meaningful place to me because whenever I go back there, it makes me think of my friends and how much I miss them. It makes me sad that we are now all in different places, but our hearts will always belong to Duluth, and to the wall that generations of people have enjoyed before our time and generations of people will enjoy after we are gone.

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Me at the wall.

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Such memories...

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A different view of the wall.