stacking rocks

When I first saw the word ‘tranquility’ as the theme of the week on Illustration Friday, I felt more than a little bit stupid because I couldn’t quite say the word in English – it always sounded wrong. We’ve got the film ‘Chocolat’ on tape (based on the Joanne Harris book of the same name). As pronounced there, it becomes ‘tron-keel-a-tay’.

Chocolat, the book, is beautifully written. I envy that story-telling skill. While I enjoy the film, the book captures a different nuance to the extent that they’re like two different views of the same shared story. Perhaps like hearing a well loved story told by different members of a family, or by two old friends. No real surprise there – afer all, the book was written by the author, the film was made by Lasse Halstrom. We first saw the film on Easter Saturday at the Penthouse cinema in Brooklyn. That would be Brooklyn, Wellington. Easter weather in Wellington is often the first foretaste of winter, and the Easter Saturday of 2001 was no exception. Since then, we must’ve seen the film 10,000 times, and I’ve read the book at least a couple of times (maybe more).

Tranquility. What a topic. I was anything but tranquil, and my drawings were too dreadful even for the web.

I took the opportunity of a warm early spring day to work on what, for me, is one of the most tranquility provoking activity I know – stacking stones. There’s something essentially calming in stacking stones – the minor dents and bulges have to be dealt with by turning and slight movements to find the balance points.

Stacking stones is not essentially a visual activity, although the results are attractive. You can’t just go from the look of the stone. Instead you have to feel for the lines of inner balance, the hidden gravity of the stone. It’s a lot like dealing with people – they’re not what they appear from the dents and bulges on the outside. Instead it’s really about finding the merits of their inner value, their hidden gravity.

Of course the other aspect of dealing with people is the dents and bulges they do have on the inside.

[August 23, 2005] A few days later, I found Trevor Romain (for me, one of the must read blogs of the day) had blogged his variation on stacking rocks. I like it, I’d love to visit the Okavango.

 

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