Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rock Me Baby


I hugged a rock today,
Seeking to know stoicism and permanence.
Then my dog licked my face,
And as I burst into laughter,
I knew humans aren't meant to be like stone.

I wrote these lines a couple of months ago, after it seemed that I had developed somewhat of a relationship with a certain large rock that I passed on my walk every day. I know that seems pretty darn weird and quite possibly clinically significant. So I didn't share my geological yearnings with you.

But just the other day I was reading David Brazier's Zen Therapy, and came across these words:
Pick up a stone. Turn it over in your hand. Become familiar with it. Notice its colour, its contours, its crevices. As you do the stone becomes real for you. It becomes something. Continue to explore the stone. Feel its weight in your hand. Feel its temperature and texture. The stone is beginning to become a friend.

You may notice other mental factors coming into play: possessiveness, memories, gentle or aggressive feelings, aesthetic judgements pass through one's mind. Try to keep your attention here with this stone. It is possible for your imagination to come into play. The stone fleetingly becomes an implement or something decorative. The surface of the stone becomes a landscape, a miniature world. To the innocent mind, the stone may be anything at all.

And yet, not quite anything, since it does have particular qualities which present themselves and make a real impression upon us. The stone is always other, wonderful and mysterious. As such it can be a friend and not simply an extension of ourselves.

Thus, tenderness grows. We start to care about the stone. Just like a child, we invest caring in the object. From a materialistic viewpoint this is absurd. The rock has no monetary value and minimal utility But is this not precisely the nature of caring? We do not care in order to get something back. We do not have tender feelings for something in order to be able to sell or use it. We simply appreciate the thing itself.

Maybe I'm not so nutty after all!

2 comments:

  1. I have an entire lit wall cabinet that I had commissioned from an old farmhouse window to display my rock collection so I don't think you're nutty at all

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  2. Once when I was camping on one of the Gulf Islands I came across a large rock with an indentation that seemed to fit my body so perfectly, it was as if the rock softly cradled me, and I became extended through the rock. I'd forgotten about that rock relationship until your poetic lines brought back them memory.

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