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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If it's Paradise, there must be an angel,September 1975: The Keys, FL

After several days living, working and playing on Bill and Melissa’s lobster boat, I felt the urge to head further down the Keys. I was given enough money for a pack of smokes. I had not seen any cannabis for awhile. Bill preferred alcohol and we would get some everyday after returning from fishing. I left first light in the morning while the roads were still empty. It was clear and I didn’t mind the walk, enjoying an early morning smoke. At the sound of an approaching car, I whirled around just in time to flag down a ride. A sedan rushed to a halt several feet past me. I broke into a run to get to my ride.
Opening the door and sitting down I was greeted by an incredibly beautiful angelic being. Teresa greeted me with a smile and the words, “I am so glad to see you. I wanted to get stoned with someone and you’re the first person I‘ve seen this morning. We drove all the way from Sarasota and I always like to get high just when the sun is rising.” We meant Teresa and her daughter Izzy, asleep in the back seat. I was dumbfounded, after several days on a fast I was blessed not only with an offer of sharing a joint, but the chance to be in the company of a radiant friendly woman. I felt the gods smiling. Teresa handed me a small baggie and rolling papers, asking, “Can you twist one up.” My reply was short, “I’d love too,” as I grabbed the baggie and performed my artistry.
Just as soon as we finished our smoke, Izzy awoke and joined us in the front seat. She had just finished climbing over and sitting between us when a police siren broke the peace. We were being pulled over. Teresa quickly handed the small baggie to Izzy and ordered,” Put this down in your panties honey, I ‘ll go take car of the Man.” Izzy obeyed just as a Trooper approached the door. It seemed Teresa had expired plates. She quickly rebounded and announced, “ I’ve got good plates in the back seat. I just haven’t had a chance to put them on yet.” She got out and they searched the back seat for her plates. Finding them, the young officer scolded her but then offered, “ I got a screwdriver in the car and I can put your plates on for you.” Teresa joined him behind her car and I sat with Izzy.
Shortly Teresa rejoined us and uttered with a sigh, “He was nice but still a pig. He wanted me to leave Izzy with you and go with him to a motel room. I’ve seen this before. Cops just pulling over young women and offering to let them go in exchange for sex. I’m glad you’re here, I don’t know if I could have resisted his threats if I was alone.” I guess it was fortunate for both of us to meet up. I enjoyed the company and agreed to spend the day with them going to Key West and becoming sightseers. At the end of a gorgeous day, Teresa announced she was headed back to Sarasota and offered me a ride. We climbed in the car and headed up the keys.
I was having trouble accepting my good fortune. So much so, that I thought with luck this good, some dark cloud must be approaching. I caved in to my negative thinking and asked to be let out near Grassy Key with the flimsiest of excuses, “I’ve got to visit some friends here.” Teresa pulled over, gave me a buss and offered her address if I should ever want to visit Sarasota. She pulled away as I stood there thinking, “What the Hell‘s the matter with me?, I should have stayed with them.” Just another day in Paradise.


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.