Saturday, September 18, 2010

Listening with my hands

For nearly five days a continual beehive of activity went on here in Washington as workers assembled all the stone pieces of an unusual circular hive - a completely dry laid structure known as a Clochan.

Towards the end of Friday the final cap stone went on and the work-bee came to a celebratory end on September 18 at the Marenakos 2010 StoneFest.

The drone of the machinery and the hum of the workers who had been busily chipping and shaping and fitting stones faded away and a new sound could be heard, an even sweeter sound than chisels ringing as the many stones were dressed.

The haunting drone of the bagpipes filled the air, as 6 traditionally dressed pipers arrived at the site and began playing for the wallers who had worked so hard on the project and played too for the others who had participated at this year's StoneFest including the letter carvers and the stone sculptors. After playing a couple of tunes, including Amazing Grace near the entrance of the newly constructed clochan, several pipers actually crawled through the small granite-stone opening and began to play inside the clochan.

It had been a special 'hands-on' week which ending appropriately with a special 'hands-on' moment when we gathered around the structure and 'listened' to the drone of the pipers playing inside the beehive, and placing our hands on the outside, many of us could almost feel the stones singing, as the far away sound of bagpipes seeped through the walls.

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