Something About Stories & Stones
Stories are like stones. They catch your eye, snagging your heart as you plumb left foot, then right, down along the path of arcing earth. They build, fortress and can erode to dustings. Right (t)here on the cusp of light where land meets sea, (t)here folded and tucked into the mud that anchors the wild mess of marsh, spilling like violets from wise and foolish mouths. Stones and stories live in the edges, awaiting collection, awaiting becoming nascent foundations. We build dynasties, biases and wonderment upon them from (t)here.
Stone-gazing you look down to the yield along the lip of Lake Superior shore, where a finite yet holy endlessness of wet-lit gemstones; glossy carnelian reds, milky quartz whites, black basalt pearls, lucid tawny agates, lie luscious, begging to be tasted, or at the very least held in an open palm, fondled and honored for their ageless maturity and the strife they’ve lived through.
Story-gathering you listen into the four directions until, in that place where stories perch, cavort and dive from naked branches wings wide, they land in you. Dart like they pierce the heart, whale like they roam just below the surface and spout, and you swallow them like Jonah, letting them gestate to bloom.
Some stones wink up from their resting place speaking a language too old for our minds to ken but I feel their speech along the rope of my spine. I wonder do they gape at the vulnerability of us and wonder at the cave place where song and story flows out from us? Do the great granite slabs chant mica flecked hymns to sleeping owls and do the erect basalt columns preach parables to the wind? And if you listen at the edge of the sea the limestone will cough up myths so deep you’ll lose your footing completely. Are you listening?
Do the stones look up, skyways, up beyond our vertical forms further into the star wars, and the sucking black holes, knowing a carbon kinship and a buckled-knee reverence to ancient light and an infinity beyond comprehension? Do they ken storylessness there in the space between?
Some stories, once they’ve slid down my ruby throat sit in my underbelly, a mighty feast, taking a lifetime to digest. Some stories cloak, some choke. Some wait to be known, wait to be tasted for redemption and revival. Wait for the heart to listen, to decant their wine red blood, and for the tongue to massage them into life. Let them wake you.
After all the years of listening, gathering and carrying, heavy stones and hearty stories I see there are some stones, and stories that must touch me regularly and I re-member where our timing crossed, like Xs marking treasure, like kisses on a mirror. On the shingle of Hirta, or something fresh off the tongue of a Stoneybridge cailleach or the sand landed heart rock at Grant’s Point or the wet branch of language reaching out from a Dartmoor magician. Telling is a holding, listening is acceptance.
Will the stones of the next millennia be made of our metamorphosed stories?
Will the untold stories become stones?