What a gorgeous photo! Is it weird that I have a thing for stones??
Not weird at all. I keep a small smooth stone on my desk near my laptop. Each time I touch it I say, "Glory and praise to you, O God" and continue with a few words of thanks.
That reminds me of the scripture about the rocks crying out in praise.
(I, too, have smooth stones on my desk: semi-precious stones & polished crystals. Their lustre, colors and shapes inspire me, and when I rub their polished smoothness, I feel calmer.)
I love stones, too, especially those worn smooth over time. And I like that these are nestled into an altar of sand. It feels to me a gentle reminder that nothing--even rough stones and smooth rocks--is meant to be permanent.
Another stone collector here. Where was this pic taken, do you know?
Dur, Pfeiffer Beach, right in tags...
I took it at Pfeiffer Beach this past weekend, on a road trip through Big Sur (Hwy 1). It was one of several similar piles of rocks, all beautiful, but I liked this one in particular. I'm thinking I might also post the ones I took of green boulders (jasper?)--and the rivulets of garnet sand.
Melodye, nice photo -- did you create that arrangement of stones?
No, Peter, I didn't, but it certainly spoke to me when I saw it. It was part of a larger collection of stone memorials I discovered at the water's edge. This picture shows them all:
I wonder what it is that moves humans to stack stones in that fashion... and especially by the ocean? I suppose it could partly be convenience -- there tend to be plenty of appropriate stones on a lot of beaches. I know I've done it a number of times in Maine and New Hampshire. But I suspect it has a lot to do with the spiritual effect (for lack of a better term) of being near the waves and sand.
I think it was two summers ago when Jeannine and i visited Ogunquit, ME, and walked on the path by the water called the "Marginal Way", that we saw dozens of rock stacks... more than I'd ever seen at one time. I'll try to find one of those photos and send it to you. -- PL
I've wondered that very thing, Peter. It makes me think it's possible we are bound together by an innate need to ritualize our feeling states. Maybe we also share a deep-seated need to create iconic representations for our spiritual beliefs... I suppose the ocean, in all its power & magnificence, helps shape and define things for us, too.
Deep stuff for so early in the morning, lol! I'd have to drink a lot more coffee before pursuing this line of thinking.
I'd love to see your photos, by the way. This sort of thing really does speak to me, heart and soul.
2012-05-12 02:48 am (UTC)
Re: little altars everywhere
"It makes me think it's possible we are bound together by an innate need to ritualize our feeling states. Maybe we also share a deep-seated need to create iconic representations for our spiritual beliefs... I suppose the ocean, in all its power & magnificence, helps shape and define things for us, too."You could be right. I wonder why people seem to gravitate towards making these stacks of rocks as opposed to, say, circles or spirals of rocks. Maybe there is some ancient impulse to make cairns... even though, in the case of these which are constructed near the ocean, they are vulnerable to winds, waves, and the destructive impulses of our fellow humans, and rarely last very long. -- PL I just remembered that I posted a couple of related photos as part of this blog entry:
I was really moved by that blog post, Peter. First of all, it's a lovely picture of you and Jeannine. You radiate love and happiness, and (despite the windy day) peace.
I also like that you mention striving toward a sense of balance. Boy howdy, I've been there! Own a much-worn roadmap, in fact. It seems as if you're anchored in the moment, even as you're exploring new horizons. If that's not a signpost for balance, I don't know what is.
And finally, I'm loving that there's a deeply personal--and also universal--aspect to these monuments. I suspect it's similar to religious icons/rituals: We create our own meaning as we give them structure. But on the whole, they may serve us similarly, in that they help fill the hole of uncertainty and/or isolation we sometimes feel, for whatever reason.
Again, thanks for finding this in your archives. I'm richer for having visited Marginal Way with you (and Jeannine).