Thursday, May 30, 2019

What makes rocks a composition?

There is a balance implied in asymmetry that can’t be achieved in symmetry.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A tidy wall makes for a tidy yard.

The Blossoms of the Magnolia tree look so beautiful on the branches and yet so messy when you see them on the ground below . It's good to have a stone wall in front of the tree, to hide the mess.

Friday, May 24, 2019

It’s all water under the bench

Can you imagine
Years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.

Paul Simon

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Space Gravel

Rock-stars, moon-stones, sun-showers and shooting-shards are all part of space gravel. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

What’s cement got to do with it?

Permanent dry laid walls have well fitted stones that can often look like they’re just meant to be together, but this satisfying look of ‘inevitability’ is rarely achieved when you cement them together.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ironically, there is nothing concrete about this.

Aqueduct of Segovia. The Romans built this out of rocks that didn’t end up going to the crushers to be made into concrete. It is basically built dry laid, without any mortar.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Not cement to happen.

All over the world, unimaginably huge amounts of natural stone are blasted out of our planet and busted up into chunks and dragged kicking and screaming to the cement factories to be made into cement. 

Perfectly good stones for building with, are taken for their last ride up to the massive rock eating machines, that turn them into powder, to make endless manufactured concrete products

Tomorrow, let's look at some of the more natural, less destructive, less carbon-emitting, less fuel-consumptive, less mind-numbingly polluting things, that could have been done with these rocks.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Are You Experienced?

Stone is the medium most able to experience us !
We are it’s ‘other’.
And yet the solid non-ego consciousness of stone remains impervious to the mindless barrier ‘other’ materials pose to our meeting.
It looks for us. It reaches out to touch us.
We are strangely mindful of this, and as we touch it and work with it, we say we ‘know’ the stone, and trust that it knows us.
Stone is only able to be known of us, because we have already been known of it.
If we experience it and are touched by its essence, it is because we are experienced by the stone.
And in time, some of that experience may be given to us.

The question ‘Are you experienced’ has less to do with any skill or knowledge we’ve acquired and much more to do with appreciating that wonderful something, beyond us, experiencing us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019



To make Peace takes a lot of creativity , a lot of initiative, 
A lot of new incentive,
It takes a lot of beginner stuff, pure hopeful unsullied enthusiasm and ...
It takes people who may not believe it can't be done. 
It takes beginners .

Professional people often have only bad experiences to go on, they just seem to know how to make war .
They think to solve aggression they need to be professional.

The peacemakers- the bridge builders build a sense of connectedness between human beings, between us and nature  between our small place in the cosmos and the rest of the cosmos.
These bridge builders are all beginners . 
A bridge likes this gives me hope, and I hope it gives others hope .
Make bridges not WAR 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Former Training.

Removing the wooden form (the former) out from under the bridge is not unlike taking the training wheels off a child’s bicycle. 

For a certain length of time, some sort of support is needed , but then, in a moment of time, that dependence suddenly disappears. That which was there has served its purpose.  

The bridge, and the child, have discovered how to stay upright on their own.

The magic happens, and then it’s all just water under the bridge.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Franklin Bridge

Photo by Franklin Smith 

The experience of the last five days felt a bit like the dry stone equivalent of a major musical performance. I had been invited to come to Asheville to conduct members of a guest orchestra . The stone/musicians had not seen the music before but sight read and performed the ‘bridge piece’ perfectly. Bravo orchestra !

Monday, May 6, 2019

Just enough.

Our bridge is small enough for children to play on
Wide enough to walk over
High enough for the stream to flow under
Sturdy enough to last a long time...

And big enough for all our friends.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Top of the learning curve

Putting the last few stones in the stone arch becomes the unifying culmination of everyone’s energy, during this important stage of the bridge workshop.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Preparing to jump right in to International Naked Gardening Day today

“Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are!) has not really known what purity is— nor what faith or art or health really is.”

–Walt Whitman

Friday, May 3, 2019

Rock enroled students.

We are all students, oft times, travelling over bridges we haven't made yet. The knowledge of what is known, and not known, passes both ways. We start from a place where we overlook the obvious and cross over to where we begin to understand the intuitive - all the time never, blocking  the flow of continuity - but simply accommodating the course of nature . The stones are strong supporters of such multi-layered education. The universe is the place where all matter, and all that matters, is (are?) compressed into the arc of enlightenment .  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The first week of May is the best time to build bridges.

The dimensions for the centring, which will support our next dry stone bridge, have been carefully worked out, and the lines where it will be going, are shown here in green. It will be built by seven students in the next five days.

May 1st. What a lovely setting. You can just see Nels standing where we are going to be building the bridge this week.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Build it, and they will come

We recently created this catchment area on the property to collect water from a year round spring  . The rains came and created a new pond , and then the geese came and created, a mess, no no , created a beautiful photo opportunity,