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Genius Loci

There are a lot of spaces I feel deserve recognition for being full of spirit and life. Nature, for one would be excellent. There are many connections with the energy of the earth that we as human beings naturally draw off of. However, I have decided to write about a specific type of structure that has always brought me serenity, curiosity, and a most profound connection.

I am not “religious� in certain senses of the word, (however I have spiritual beliefs which are too complex to go into detail in this particular entry), but I decided one day I needed to be in a serene place to reflect on some things…. I was walking along a familiar road when I stumbled upon a small church I often walked by. It was a very cool and early morning, so the sun was just rising above the horizon and for whatever reason I felt the urge to enter the building. (There is just something fantastic about the way churches are built, they are in my opinion some of the most beautiful man-made-structures.) The church was completely empty, so I entered the sanctuary and the sun was shining magnificently over the long rows of stained glass, each a solid color lighting up the otherwise pitch black room….and there I sat, in the silence and peace of this holy profound and symbolic structure. I gathered my thoughts. I admired the woodwork and the beauty of how nature can take something already structured to be a symbol and nurture it with its own love and appreciation.

To me, there were several forces working to bring what would appear to be a still and silent structure, to life. This shows how man unaware, still relies on nature to bring full beauty into perspective. With out windows, there could be no light in the building, but without the sun there could be no light on earth. Thus, the building is created with magnificent colored windows to allow nature to come through and enhance the structure with its natural beauty. Churches are intriguing, because in America especially, they are one of the most famous examples of a structure that is built solely on the purpose of representing an important symbol. They are meant to bring life to the very belief of god and or such entities.

It is my belief that the mixture of this holy symbol and the acts of nature is what makes this structure my genius loci. It is the love of humanity for God and nature that is put into mind when considering the structure of these buildings, which in my mind is what sets them apart from so many others. I live in NE Minneapolis and I am graced with the privilege of living around so many magnificent and old church structures. Every one has its own story, its own energy that it draws all by itself and within the building it brings so many diverse people of so many backgrounds together for a similar belief, to worship the idea of peace (regardless of what type of religion it is) and that in itself, is one of the many miracles of architecture.