HomeUncategorizedriver rocks

Walking into Motte’s studio, you do not see the art front and center. You see the rocks. River rocks, almost all of which you could fit in the palm of your hand, arranged, stacked, organized, piled upon the long countertop, on the floor, in the windowsills. River rocks everywhere. And there’s something astonishing about it, something that makes me step back before I can take it all in.

“Take any you like,” Motte says, friendly as ever. “It’s the weirdest thing–my art just didn’t start flowing until I started going down to the river and picking up these rocks.” There are thousands of rocks. He goes on: “These rocks are like three hundred million years old! They are some of the oldest rocks on the surface of the Earth!”

I wonder if that is true, not being a geologist, but knowing that the Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains in the world, and picking up on his enthusiasm, I realize suddenly that I now value river rocks more now, just seeing how my short-term neighbor Motte values them. And I wonder if, because Motte is here for only a short period of time, he makes it a point to absorb more value, more beauty in this place that is already so rich.

There is a part of me that wants to be ashamed that I have not walked all the trails, found the giant beech trees at the head of the creek, gone to the river’s edge and let rock after rock rest in my palm absorbing its beauty. But instead I look at these piles of rock, all gathered and appreciated by Motte, and I say I’ve learned something tonight.

The Moon, full and silver, coats everything in a glow. In my hands I carry a rock, heavy for one hand, but still managable. It is white with slate blue crystals of kyanite. It is very, very old. Shadows of trees vein the driveway. The sky is open and magnetic. I breathe the sky, my heart an open palm, ladled with light.


river rocks — 3 Comments

  1. I woke up this morning wishing I had time to write. I have my favorite twelve-step meeting to go to and an appointment to get the tattoo I’ve been imagining for two years.

    Despite the fact that these are things I want to do, what I WANT to do is take photos of my little Mediterranean garden in the desert and post them in an LJ gallery for you to see.

    What makes me wish I had more time to write is that this post of yours is incredibly beautiful. You’re writing is transportive. I’m there in the Appalachians at the river’s edge, holding rock smoothed by eons of cool clear water.

    Part of it is that I’ve walked those paths as a younger man. I’ve spent many days of my life on the AT and its side trails and I miss deciduous trees and the loamy floor they create. Your writing makes me smell the compost that is the forest floor and feel the carpet as I walk the trail.

    Thank you.

  2. It is unfortunate what we take for granted on a daily basis. The number of opportunities to appreciate beauty around us far outweigh the number of tasks to which we commit ourselves each day. If we devoted ourselves with the same fervor to witnessing with wide-open eyes the world around us, imagine how much richer our lives would be. Your post reminds me a bit of R.W. Emerson’s Walden. He had such a gift for true sight.

  3. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. I’m honored to share my Appalachian Ecosystem Experience with you. I’d like to see that Mediterranean garden soon! Get busy with that camera!

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