Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hand Grip


Joe is watching Evan and Akira rock climbing. Actually in this case it is 'dry stone cairn climbing'. The cairn is a 14 foot structure we built this year at the 14th hole at the Royal Ashburn Golf Course near Oshawa. It is made entirely from granite fieldstone found on the property. It took us 5 days to build. We dropped by to see it last week on our way home from another project.

It is interesting to note how many masons/wallers also enjoy rock climbing. Whether it be bouldering, belaying up and down rock cliffs or full scale mountain climbing, the attraction to stone and rocks always seems to be a common denominator. Wallers are inexplicably drawn to this very common yet fascinating natural material. Those who cant 'get over rocks' by merely stacking or shaping them all day go the next step and become true stone huggers as they try their hand at climbing bigger and bigger rocks. Both rock stacking and rock climbing involves upward progression. Where so many seem to be involved in a race to the bottom we prefer a more rarified air.

Akira and to some degree Evan, are climbers, but today they dont have their special rock climbing equipment with them. All they have is the standard equipment - their feet and hands. Relying on your grip in this case is just another way of 'thinking with your hands'. Often they not only communicate more information than our eyes or ears, they also are an important part of the cognitive decision making, when it comes to actually handling rocks, whether it be scaling mountains or just small scale walling.

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