Wednesday, August 11, 2010

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.

"I say it's possible." said Rhonda " A really good waller, say one who has had years and years of experience understanding our ways, and has built miles of walls, and unconsciously knows how we need to be fit together, could conceivably get good enough to actually begin to hear what it is we are saying."

"I think you're right Rhonda - not just having a capacity to know what we want, but hear us speaking to one another. What an exciting thought. " Said the Squire. "And this chap is very good. I'd say he's one of the best I've seen in a while."

"I thought he was a perfectionist at first " said the builder, " but he is a craftsman. "

"He has flare." Rhonda added.

Flare is a wonderful gift to have as a waller. It is that unique talent that sometimes comes with experience that enables one to choose a random rock, hold it it for a split second, flip it and place it securely in a wall the first time, and know that it is right. It's a confidence, a bravado that turns walling into a dance, an aesthetic event, a flowing display of kinetic art. Flare is what makes one bold enough to leave a stone placed in the wall, even though it doesn't look right and won't until the other spaces have been filled in. It is being willing to risk not doing the obvious, not insisting on uniformity, if it sacrifices structural innovation or aesthetic creativity. It's having seen the big picture, letting the stones have their way and not try to control them. Without flare a wall is dead. It may be sturdy and look correct, even to a formally trained eye, but the stones have not been allowed to sing, to breath and be free. Those with flare see beyond the inherent attractiveness of the stone material to uncover it's deeper function.

Stone is the rawest most compacted form of creativity. From this material flow all other manifestations of artistic and structural expression. It's effect on civilization can be traced back to the earliest collaborations between man and stone. Since their beginnings on this rocky planet men have been, and still continue to be, influenced by this strange enduring substance.

A waller may never experience their latent capability for flare. He might only choose each stone based on how he can fix it, shape it, and employ it disregarding or discarding the likleyhood of it having any higher creative potential. The universe not only allows for extravagance and frugality it allows itself to be wasted. A waller with flare sees a universe of possibilities in what has been provided. Even though he knows he doesn't have to try to use the limited choices lying around, that are immediately available to him, he still believes he can do magic with it.


  1. the irrepressible editorAugust 14, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    bravo, John.
    (but, my fellow logophile, it's flair, not flare.)

  2. Thanks T
    You are quite right.
    Your beacon of light has exposed my error.
    I am indebted to you sir, unable to decide whether to fix the typo now and so make your accompanying comment redundant, or just leave it, as a reminder, a warning flare as it were, to all who pass this way.