Saturday, December 28, 2019

I have just three words for you, son.

The film The Graduate was released over fifty years ago. It was a good film. There's a poignant moment in it that I'll never forget. After just graduating from college, the advice given to Benjamin from his dad's employer Mr McGuire was just one word - Plastic. 

The scene is distressingly, ironically prophetic.  

It's likely Benjamin never got into plastic, but the rest of the world lost its mind and scrambled to produce and use and throw away as much of the stuff as is earthly possible. 

If only we had stopped back then and listened to the voice of reason. If only the waste and destruction caused by over producing the stuff could have been foreseen and avoided. 
What if there had been something far less harmful to the planet had been promoted?

Is there a chance that Benjamin got into dry stone walling? Perhaps. Maybe others would have caught on to how cool it was, and how non destructive.  Sure, we'd still have to use paper bags, and glass jars and not get into over-packaging stuff and avoid producing and buying a lot of tempting consumer products, but having a generation of people who loved and work with natural stone surely would have been part of a much needed healing process for the earth, instead of the 5 decades of plastic we've subjected ourselves and the rest of the planet too.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Remembering the Stone O Zone

Merry Christmas 

Happy New Year 


Happy Holidays 

from me to all of 


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Welcome to the Solstice

There’s a   L  O  N  G    N  I  G  H  T  ... ahead of us.
See you on the other side.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Touching the Emergent Properties

All properties of a complex system that are not relations between it and something else derive from the properties of its constituents and their effects on each other when so combined. Emergence is an epistemological condition: it means that an observed feature of the system cannot be derived from the properties currently attributed to its constituents. But this is a reason to conclude that either the system has further constituents of which we are not yet aware, or the constituents of which we are aware have further properties that we have not yet discovered.  Thomas Nagel. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Reading something novel.

It is very unlikely that anything can be truely random.
The concept of random is inconsistent with a closed system of conscious reality.
So randomness is a bit of an inexplicable phenomena.
It's not strange that there is order in the universe . It's the novelty of chance injected into it every moment that is the surprise

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Wall is a verb.

The word Wall is many things. Not just the end result.
And 'to wall' is like making music.
It is the whole event, not just a finished static structure.
Walling is an allegory. A expression of life in all its continuity - creatively combining spontaneity and permanence .
It is an event that needs to be appreciated in its entirety.
The whole process is a creative dance with natural material using mass, balance and dynamic friction.
Join the stones and join the dance.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Abducted to Stone

The Gallacticus Orbitory is a recently discovered saucer shaped dry stone interstellar craft believed to have landed here in Ireland many eons ago. Little is known about the galaxy it came from, its initial trajectory or its original orbit.  Was the craft supposed to have landed on earth or did it just crash here? 
Did any other aspect of this mysterious dry stone craft survive? Evidence suggests that all the well built stone walls found here on earth, which amazingly have no mortar holding them together, are the work of descended beings who were (or still are) captivated by the cosmic attraction of this advanced stone technology .  It is believed that some kind of secret bonding knowledge was originally imparted to humans by Stone Age space travellers many thousands of years ago, and the stonework we see on earth, like the craft itself, has remained curiously intact to this day.

Panpsychism in Focus

It doesn’t take much of a brain to understand that maybe everything has consciousness, even stones.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Permanent Balance

Nothing is permanent. Balance is no exception. The prolonging of balance, (for it not to just be temporary) requires constant adjustments to outside change. Balance without controlled refinements is usually quite short lived. While some things balance for what could be considered an unusually long time, all balance is brief compared to static 'non-balance'. 

The brevity is what make balance rare, and this among other attributes is what causes it to have value. 

Balance is sought after in every aspect of our lives. It is this ephemeral equilibrium we seek, and if we find it, strive endlessly to try to maintain. 

Balancing stones is a metaphor for that process of seeking. It capsulizes that all-consuming need to discover some invisible symmetry, some unlikely aesthetic, using intuition and all our powers of alignment, to find an equivalent balance in our everyday lives. . Hence the tower of improbably balanced stones becomes our icon. 

And when we see it in a stone balance, it seems almost magical. For real balance, not the reinforced concrete type,  really is sacred, and worthy of honouring. 

But how?

All non-balance by contrast is dead. We need not build memorials to dead things. But, could we really build a proper monument to the goddess of balance? 

What would it look like?How could it not end up being ironic?

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The space between

Walls are not just for keeping things in or keeping them out. They are about everything in between too. It is between walls  where all the space contained within their parallel narrownesses is experientially defined. This is where we feel strangely suspended between two confining yet releasing masses.

If we wait and are still enough we begin to feel a fundamental sense of connection. There is sensation of completeness as we channel the energy flowing along a double walled path. The combined effect of two stone masses in such close proximity is strangely calming, strangely exhilarating. 
It is a kind of a parting of our own personal sea of experiences. 

As we travel through, we can run our hands along the stones and help complete the circuit. Life we discover is not just about connecting dots. Parallel walls like these provide an opportunity to also connect lines. And held within them, we become that infinity where parallel lines meet.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


This simulation of Handhenge was part of our proposal package we submitted for an installation we plan to build for Burning Man 2020.
It will involve nearly 100 tons of random shaped quarried stone. To be taken down afterwards and built somewhere else.  To read more about it, go to 

Off in the distance

Farley sits proudly in front of the arch we built a few years ago. It calmly stands, overlooking the steady flow of traffic streaming into and out of the huge metropolis of Toronto. I like to think drivers look up from the line of traffic stopped in every direction and smile. That they think pleasant far away enchanted thoughts about how magical life is. I hope it blesses them and reminds them that stones are our connection to the universe, not money or the monotony of ignoring our connection to everything.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Touch Stones

What is touch?
How close do we get to touching anything or anyone?
The molecules that make up the tips of my fingers push into your being, but how much actual contact is there?
We assume because there is some sort of back pressure that our matter, (the physical and even metaphysical stuff we are made of) has met, but this is only an illusion. Science tells us the universe is mostly space and that there is still an almost infinite space between any of us, between everything in fact, no matter how close we get.
Combine this with the fact that some things are not even supposed to be touched - fire, the edge of sharp objects, live electric wires, paintings at the art gallery, ceramic figures at the gift shop.
It is any wonder people start to become untouched by it all,  and feel that everything outside of them is untouchable 
In such a world/universe where so many things can’t  be touched, or are not even supposed to be touched, there is, for the discovering, this curiously touchable-looking material called stone.
There is no sign on the mountain, on the rocky boulders , or the stone buildings, the dry laid walls, the stone bridges and terraces , or any of the pebbles on the beach, ‘
No sign saying 
‘Please don’t touch’
Most plants maybe shouldnt be handled, the trees must not be taken away, the clouds are illusion, the water in the river slips through our hands.
So many mysterious substances appear but can not be entered into.
So many things you cant put your finger on 
'Stone' the prime medium of touch.
More importantly, there is a feeling that it should be touched.
A sense that ironically, within its hardness and the silence, here is the door