Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rock Work

Rock solid. Stone cold. Heavy. Hard.
And the most plentiful substance on earth.
Stone cold, solid rock. Or maybe incendiary ash, or molten lava, shifting sands.
Tectonic plate. Continental shelf. Mountain peak.
Butte. Precipice. Cliffs of Dover. Rock of Gibraltar. Sugar Loaf.
What is rock, but the facial features and bold character of this planet we live on?

Limestone. Granite. Shale. Marble. Agate. Jade. Obsidian.
Arrowheads and spear tips. Clubs and forts and the ammo of catapults.
Crash the gates. Steal the gold.
Diamonds. Amethyst. Amber.
Coal. Charcoal. Carbon.
Sediment. Fossil. Coral reef.
Life. Death. Stone.

What is rock, but ancient memory preserved for ages to come?
Recorded. Set in stone.
Past, present, future.
We live. We die.
Generations of ancestors and progeny are but fleeting thoughts.
Civilizations rise and fall. All in the tick tock of rock rubbing stone.
Life forms come and go.
Rock—the witness. Doesn’t care. Stone cold. Unforgiving silent monitor of Soul.

Why do I love working with stone?
Pick. Hammer. Shovel.
Chisel. Mortar. Trowel.
Shape. Stack. Set.

Roads and walkways.
Steps and walls and monuments.
Columns, coliseums & domiciles.
Lintel, arch, beam and buttress.
Bridges, fountains, statues, cathedrals.
Sculptured art museum.
Easter Island, Egypt, Atlantis.
Druids, aliens, slave.
Past, present – Soul.

My body aches from lifting and hauling and placing. But I love working with stone.
Brick and block. Concrete, cement. Sand and water.
Life and death and stone.
Soul on a planet of rock. Shocking, but true.
Solid and liquid and gas.
Matter and energy. Space and time.
And stone.
The elementals collude.
Earth and air. Fire and water.
And always, the Spirit, the stone
And Soul.
There is a plan. Can I know it?
All biological life is merely changing fashion for stone.
We are fleeting.
In this world, but not of it.
Buddha. Arjuna. Lai Tsi.
Jesus, Paul and Peter.
Popes and presidents and Czars.
Dictatorships, republics.
Communist, fascist, socialist.
Democracy, freedom. Enslavement.
Chaos and disorder. Revolution.
Greed and gold.
Power and fear.

The planet and stone and Soul.
I love working with stone.
And as the body toils, the mind works through every possible solution.
Level and plumb. Pitch and camber. Pressure and balance.
Thought provoking. Stone.
Rock work. The means to time travel.

Which great-grand ancestor was the mason? Who taught me this?
Was I the master, the slave? The climber? The miner?
I built a retaining wall last Saturday. And inlayed some brick along the front walk. Lots to do yet before the project is complete. But I love the work. Rock work.


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