Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
All areas of our life require balance. It is the reward of constant experimenting and the gentle positioning of weighty matters (and ourselves) so that gravity and all other pressures (good or bad) work on our side.
Balance is the equalizing of the pull of opposite poles, charges, pulls and pushes.
It is the 6th sense. We can not stand without it.
We know when we are off balance without any of the other 5 senses.
Balance is symmetry.
And balance is a dance, a reflection, a repeated phrase, a pleasingly proportioned design and space in time.
Balance is a comparison, a relationship, it is seeing the connection, the ratio, the give and take of a situation.
Life is a balancing act in a topsy turvy world.
Unlike balancing stones, (where rocks are precariously positioned utilizing the sparsest network of contact and the least means of support ) building permanent walls, by stacking stones structurally, is really an exercise in learning to maximize all the balance available to us in the material we have to work with.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
About six years ago George started to build one of his first walls laying the stones in a diagonal arrangement, which gradually turned into a sort of semi-herringbone pattern. Im not sure why I find this wall is so intriguing. Every time I visit this wall captures my imagination possibly because it is vaguely suggestive of curving patterns I've seen somewhere in nature. As Scott took us around his property and we saw some of his other stonework (some of it not yet completed) we sensed that Scott had possibly set out on an unending and delightfully entertaining journey, exploring different styles and even more fanciful designs with each new project.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
It occurs to me that 'Stone Story', the spontaneously unfolding online story about 'talking' stones, which I've been writing on and off for several months and posting intermittently on Thinking With My Hands, has had a spotty presence on the blog and people need to be 'filled in' more about what is going on, especially for anyone who doesn't know about the story and might in fact be curious to read what's happened so far. I should say that for those who have read all the episodes, thank you for hanging in there, and that I will be revisiting it and adding more episodes in the near future.
A round rock and a square rock went for what was not a very fast roll one fine year. The square rock was having trouble keeping up.
Stone Story part 2
Stone Story part 3
Stone Story part 4
Stone Story part 5
Stone Story part 6
Stone Story part 7
Stone Story part 8
Stone Story part 9
Stone Story part 10
Stone Story part 11 (part review)
Rocks are good at waiting. They have got it pretty much covered. It is a function of their makeup, their composition. Nothing needs to happen for them, or to them, for great lengths of time. They can out-wait huge oak trees and giant redwoods. They can out last storms and floods and upheavals. They can put up with both the wear and tear of continuous activity, and the gnawing boredom of inactivity.
Stone Story part 13
Stone Story part 14
Stone Story part 15
It was a long time after the storm before anyone came along to inspect the damage to the wall. It was even longer before they came back to begin to repair it.
Stone Story part 16
Stone Story part 17
Stone Story part 18
"No no, that's just an expression they use," said the Squire."They don't actually hear us. They pretty much have no inkling of what's going on in our world. Their world of only 5 senses is pretty limited. The universe is still a big mystery to them. Even with all their technology they're barely able to detect anything beyond the electromagnetic spectrum. And as for understanding the way we elements interact, I dont think they will ever be able to understand basic 'Entangled Particle Communication' "
Stone Story part 19
For the rest of the day the Squire and Rhonda (the round stone) discussed the likelihood of a human ever being able to 'pick up' rocks having conversations with other rocks.
Stone Story part 20
The two wallers finished for the day. They made their way back down the valley towards home.
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 1
The typical water absorption of granite rocks is .03 percent, not a lot of water for their mass. Their resistance to taking on moisture, their low porosity, is part of the reason they weather so well. Water doesn't get very far past the surface, and therefore can't do the kind of freeze/thaw damage that it can do to more porous materials like brick and wood.
Rhonda watched the rain coming down and remembered the days of her youth. For many, many years, soon after being separated from her twin back in the Mesozoic Era, she had travelled with a group of friends with the glaciers through what would later become Scotland and had discovered a rugged affection for the desolate geology of the area as she passed through. The constant damp cold, the lovely bleakness of everything back then, was something she missed. She had tons of happy memories of her journey southward as she made her long striations along the craggy Pre-Caledonian landscape; it was all so moving. Her years in that magic place had carved her and shaped her. By the time she arrived in Cumbria, having left her home in the north country for good, she had become a well-rounded and beautiful stone. All her rough edges had been taken off. She never forgot her rustic beginnings, back in the days when she was not anywhere near as polished or in as good a shape.
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 2
Myron told Rhonda,
Myron went on to explain that stone used for making a millstone could not have any lines of weakness which could cause it to crack as it was being removed from the bedrock. In order to quarry millstones from a deposit of millstone grit, a narrow circular groove was first made outlining the shape of the millstone to be taken from the rock. Deeper cuts were chiseled into the circle and these were pegged with wedges made of oak. Water was then poured on the wedges causing them to swell and so eventually the wedges split the stone, facilitating its extraction as a single piece from the surrounding rock. The middle hole was usually cut on site. This method of quarrying millstone left large perfectly round hollows in the rock surface, or sometimes just a shallow circular groove in the bedrock, if the stone cracked the wrong way before it was freed. Stones frequently cracked during the arduous quarrying process or later when they were bored. Myron had ended up in his original 'pie shape' (later to become more pyramid-like) when he broke off from one of these flawed millstones.
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 3
The square stone's story was quite different from the other two. Many of the details you may remember, if you've been reading along. (see Stone Story part 7)
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 4
The Squire (the cube shaped granite rock), having told the other rocks how he had ended up meeting the beautiful round stone Rhonda, when he had been first washed up on the beach at St Bees Head, continued to tell the story of how their friendship slowly evolved.
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 5
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 6
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 7
The next day the valley, which is often shrouded in mist, was unusually dark and foggy. The Scribe who had spent most of the morning deep in meditation, suddenly sensed someone approaching. A solitary waller appeared out of the mist, walking up the footpath. He was carrying a black rubber bucket, the type wallers use to carry their tools in or fill with hearting stones.
Stone Story. Segment Two. Part 8
Andy knelt down and picked up Rhonda, the round-shaped stone. He carefully studied the subtle gradations of pink and grey banding on the smooth outer surface of the stone. He bounced it up and down in his hands, getting a feel for its weight, and then gently rolling and turning it over as if it were alive, and hesitating briefly, he said.