Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rock Steady

Here's a four letter word that opens up a world of possibility.  ROCK.  You rock! You are my rock.  Rock me mama!  Green, green rocky road...
I always picked up rocks as a kid.  Still do.  Only I don't put them in my mouth and crunch down as if I knew how to test for gold.  That practice stopped, when, as a nine year old, I crushed a dirt clod and spent the better part of a day washing out my mouth.
Rocks are all around us.  Literally and figuratively.  I see people who walk around all day and never lift their heads above the horizon.  That used to bother me because they seemed so preoccupied with smaller things.  Maybe they like to look at the ground for the same reason that others like to look at the sky?

If rocks are evidence of the beginning of this planet, then that evidence is all over the most concrete cities and the most remote wilderness.  How long would it take you right now to walk outside your home and pick up a rock?
We all have people or things in our lives we consider to function as a rock.  They are solid. They are always there, and we can safely say that as long as we breathe, they will be.  I have a list of rocks in my life.  Things that function in my past and present and for long as there will be a future.  Like an anchor, a object to cast down and take a stand.  An art form, a voice, a safe harbor that never abandons us.  My list involves everything from rivers to blues music.  Thoroughbred horses, chocolate, a sunrise and a sunset will always be there.   Don't forget harmonica wails, potato salad and cold watermelon...Rocks.
In my dream last night I was asked to write three short essays on some given topics.  I think I had plenty to say, but while writing, a pen I was using would not deliver the ink to the paper in front of me.  It appeared to be some sort of linen or highly textured paper that was difficult to write on; it wouldn't hold ink and I had no other paper.  Just blue scratches with deep ruts signifying nothing cogent. I vaguely recall some kind of proctor or teacher standing over me asking if I knew what I wanted to say, or if I understood what was required.  I had the sense that with every stroke of the pen I was getting farther behind.  Ideas were inside my head but could not be transferred to the paper.  Quite a symbolic scene, no?

Someone once gave me a "worry stone."  It came with an explanation that this little piece of shiny quartz, with an indention that perfectly fit a thumb inside, was used by Native Americans to deal with their most important fears.  Instead of worrying, they supposedly pulled the little rock from their pockets and rubbed their thumb across, in and out of the indention a few times.  I didn't really believe that, but nevertheless carried the rock in my front pocket for a good while until it ultimately became lost or buried in a pair of worn out pants.  Seems to me it cracked in two once, not from rubbing the proper spot too much, but just because it was too thin.
There are better rocks out their to handle worrying.

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