Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lasting Impressions

While it may be that our eyes record first impressions, our hands give first impressions. To build with our hands something as beautiful as a dry stone wall is to make an impression more lasting than 'memory foam'. There are many metaphors that 'memory foam' might generate concerning physical imprinting, but nothing can outlast the association that exists between natural stone and our hands. Nothing is more lasting, nothing leaves a more recognizable impression . A wall that is well built can be recognized even by the untrained eye of someone traveling quickly passing by. In the same way a wall that is inferior and built badly reveals many of its shortcomings in a few seconds of inspection.

Visually, first impressions are usually right. Walls of stone, the 'imprint' of our own or our ancestors hands creating stacked stones in ordered rows along fields and along roads, built out of necessity, convey a certain 'rightness' that can not be defined.

'If you build it, they will come'. If you build it 'right', then they will come 'again'. It wont have fallen down in the interim. The wall built of stone, without mortar, without machinery, often without tools, can impress, inspire and capture the imagination. The memory of these walls of dry laid stone which were first built to contain livestock or define the boarder of a property or just piled neatly in rows to clear the land, remind us of something inherently primeval. We somehow remember our beginnings with stone. Our ancestral connection to stone triggers those original impressions( originating from our very genetic makeup) so that we register 'rightness', through a subconscious appreciation of structural stonework. Unlike a veneer, unlike a glued culture stone, unlike synthetic products, real stonework, real handiwork leaves a lasting impression.

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