Welcome to Balanced Rocks: Pictures and Stories

Beginning March 16,2010, I began a journey of balancing rocks. I hold to the practice of setting to balance at least five sculptures a day, sometimes, many more. Of these I take lots of pictures and videos. While conducting this adventure, I have been introduced to an incredible unfolding story. Additionally, I discovered this phenomenon is manifesting worldwide. As I post pictures and stories, I found many others similarly engaged and sharing their works. Additionally, as folks come upon me performing my work, many want to find out how this is done and try themselves. This blog shares this work in both pictures and stories. Enjoy


A seeming impossibility becomes possible

Rock Balancing: The Beginning

On a fine summer day, sometime in August, 2009, I was visiting family in Toronto. Like most folks spending summer in a large city, we used up as much time as we could finding outdoor events that would cool us. One afternoon, we headed to the Beaches section of East Toronto. After spending some time playing in a large sandbox in the shade with my grandkids and some of their newfound companions, we headed to the Boardwalk that extends from Balmy Beach to Kew Gardens. Ella accompanied me, Liam took off with his mom, Natalie. They ventured down the boardwalk, Ella and I headed onto the sand toward the water’s edge. Halfway there we encountered what looked like a small size Stonehenge.

About a dozen sculptures were gathered together in a rough circle. Each was a stack of two or three rocks balanced one on another. The tallest one was slightly taller than Ella, who was small average height for a five year older. All were in the neighborhood of three feet and four feet tall. What immediately jumped out was the precarious nature of the balancing. Most points of contact were miraculously slight. Most seemed to be standing on a point. Two more folks were witnessing this amazing display. We imagined that there must be small metal rods embedded at the point of contact, or else some kind of glue was used. Each of us peered from close low angles to detect what could account for this mystical display. Ella, not being so cautious, toppled one structure over. Luckily, it did not land on her.

I hurried over and picked up the fallen rock. I saw no evidence of a rod or glue. It indeed had been balanced on its pedestal. I lifted it up and tried to place it back where I reckoned it had been balanced. I cautioned Ella, to be careful and not upset any more sculptures and went about the task of finding balance. I was not successful and struggled immensely but did not find the magic spot where stability could be achieved. After a lengthy effort, an attractive Asian woman about my age approached and gently nudged me aside offering to demonstrate her work. She pointed to the spot she would set the stone upon. She called it by a foreign name. To me it looked like a slight dimple.

Placing the small end of the upper rock into that hollow, she deftly and quickly moved it around, slightly twisting and cajoling it into position. The sight of this slender woman with longish graying hair performing an intricate dance with a rock slightly larger than her head emanated calmness. It seemed only the ends of her fingers were used to achieve these small movements. Apparently, equilibrium was close. Shortly she was done and withdrew her palms which naturally assumed an open prayer posture. The rock I had grappled with was majestically resting in its previous stable state. She next went over and reset two other structures, I had not noticed were also amiss. I just took them to be part of the rubble strewn about the beach. Now all the display was standing and providing a small sense of order in our chaotic world.

I never got this woman’s name, but heard her story. She had set this display up for the purpose of taking pictures, one of which she hoped to use for a cover of a book she was publishing. Unfortunately not getting her name makes it difficult to find her book. But I carried away with me the sight of her presentation and the incredible feeling I had witnessed an amazing ethereal event. I also felt an urge to explore this practice.

Rock in the Snow

Rock in the Snow
January in Toronto

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Paradise Dismantled, March,1975: The Keys, FL

There was sadness abounding as we witnessed the falling apart of what seemed to many utopia. Half the folks at Grassy Key departed. Those remaining seemed determined to hold out and not be budged by the law. The atmosphere seemed more like that displayed by the hole in the wall gang from old time western movies than the blissful attitude of paradise from recent weeks. In a small way this was similar to the unraveling that occurred between the three days of Peace, Love and Music at Woodstock, NY and the day of Outrage, Anger, Violence, and Murder at Altamont, CA between August and December, 1969. There was accommodation for a few at the abandoned artist’s community where I was sheltered. Another large group banded together at an old worn out limestone quarry. During this unsettling, many tried to piece together our next steps as we most certainly would have to leave this area. Living a day to day existence did not seem to provide insurance contingencies for emergencies, especially for those who had managed to get by without personal resources.
When I had first arrived, I had gotten rid of most of my possessions, notably a pack and clothing. My attire consisted solely of a kaftan type garment that had come my way. My sleeping gear was made up of a colorful lightweight cotton sheet. With this gear I was hardly prepared to venture away from the Keys. It seemed everyone was provisioning for our looming exodus. I found an excellent full sized bed cover. It was of a lightweight quilted design, the upside of bright cotton, the down side of silk. This would make become the foundation of my bedroll for the rest of my travels. In a pile of abandoned clothing, I gleaned a suitable outfit to provide warmth and comfort outside the Keys. No one was totally physically prepared to leave, nor relished giving up our cherished community. Reality spoke otherwise. There was rumor of coming raids and likely harassment determined to drive us out. There was obvious tension and an evil portent that the forces driving us away from here would be in worldwide pursuit.
Late one evening, I headed over to Grassy Key. On the way, I bumped into a vehicle parked just off the road. A young couple with two kids were asleep on the ground beside the car. Apologizing for disturbing them, I got into a conversation with the father. He related they had left Indiana in search of a paradise they heard existed nearby. Apparently work had dried up for them and they were at the tail end of the winter migration. Unfortunately, I had to beak the news that the paradise they were seeking was under attack. By the man’s response, it seemed he was familiar with vestiges of beneficence being snatched away. He thanked me for the information and was resigned to keep on moving. I was beginning to grasp the Gypsy Spirit. Continuing my walk, I entered the way to Grassy Key. Right away, I came upon three police cruisers and several officers. They were confronting several trees that had been cut down and fallen across the road. Apparently this was an attempt to bar entrance to Paradise. “What is this?” I asked one of the officers. “I guess they are declaring war.” was the response. “Not only do I not want to go to war, if I did , I would not go against you guys,” I came back. It seemed I was not looked upon as the enemy. For the next minutes, I consoled with them and picked up that this barred entrance was only a temporary inconvenience and they would no doubt obtain reinforcements and make their way past. As soon as they got in their cars and left, I continued on down to the beach. There, around the old central campfire, was the gang that felled the trees. They were celebrating their victory of keeping the law at bay. It was no use telling them their victory was likely short lived and reinforced police would come back. I related the story of witnessing the police turning back and mentioned they had plenty of resources. This crew likely reinforced with alcohol acted as if they welcomed confrontation. I wished them well and headed back to my refuge.
Sometime that night, I was awakened by a couple of policemen who were sweeping through our encampment, informing us it was no longer legal to live here and warning us to leave and that a not so pleasant push was on its way. I gathered my stuff and went on ahead of these officers to awaken my mates and forewarn them a couple of hospitable cops were on the way to issue warning. I convinced Karen that our camp no longer offered refuge. We gathered our small belongings and headed down to a hidden beach where structures would not give away our presence. That night we both again received a conjunct vision. This one briefly showed that through out the world was a gathering of the remnants of God’s people. They were being assembled by beings referred to as, “Stewardesses.” In the morning, Karen and I figured we were to part ways and venture out and witness the unfolding of this story. Neither of us held much import that we were given this vision, except we felt we were being charged with an added responsibility to treat other well and to the best of our ability live the Golden Rule.


No comments:

Blog Archive

About Me, Part One

My photo
Rock Balancing: The Beginning. What began as a journal of my travels took a hiatus when I began to settle in Ithaca NY. In the meantime, I took up the practice of setting rocks to balance. I returned to my blog to begin recording this story

Part, The second

On Easter Sunday Morning, 2008, I made a decision to settle in the Ithaca New York area. At the same time, I decided to continue to post my blog, However, the stories now will come from the archive stored internally. These will be the stories I gathered while on previous journeys and never entrusted to paper. The date of each posting will not reflect the date of the story being related but will mark the date that narrative got inscribed.

Carry wood

Carry wood
33 years later

Part: The third

I took a brief hiatus from my daily blog writing. I did not know the direction it would take. part of me thought I would abandon it. It turns out I missed it. The old title "On the Road Again' is no longer apt. It appears I am settling. The travel stories will age to a point, when I will probably resusitiate them and do something with them. I dusted off some old stories and begin this new series.
Thr first is one was written two years ago. I edited it and begin again a series that is more apropos to someone settling in upper New York State. They are meant to warm, amuse, educate and sometimes inflame.