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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Staying till the end. Fall, 1991: Atlanta, GA

Staying till the end. Fall, 1991, Atlanta, GA
During the past year, since making a commitment to move to Atlanta and provide care for Joe, I managed to .gain respite by leaving briefly when Joe was having periods of feeling well. It seemed those periods were evaporating. His moments of well being hardly carried through the day. I accepted that I would now stay until the end. There was also very little other help available. Or whatever reason Joe was cutting himself off from friends and family alike. I could obtain very little insight into Joe’s mind, to garner why he wanted to cut people off. He formally had a network of friends who like himself were gay and infected with this dread disease.
Joe stated that he kept most of these folks away ,since he did not like their negative attitudes surrounding death. Perhaps these folks were working on becoming accepting of there demise, and Joe took that as an affront to his own denial concerning his own end. I am only surmising this, since Joe did not let on to his feelings concerning his end. He was able to joke about these being his final days. But he more adamantly professed the belief that a cure would be found for his illness. He would get most upset when after a visit to get medical care, he found a new treatment not working. I think that when Joe’s friends succumbed it further reminded him that a cure was not coming. He may have also wanted to block these friends from witnessing his own decline. I am only putting this tale together by extrapolating what I was able to witness. I had little else to go on since Joe would not confide with me his inner feelings. We kept our relationship at the surface and focused on day to day matters.
Joe not only isolated himself from friends but included family in the outer circle. He especially kept our mother at bay. She wanted to help attend to Joe but he would not permit it. I became obsessed in an effort to get them to reconcile whatever was keeping them separated. I was having no luck and only getting frustrated and exhausted by my efforts. Apparently Joe held his console with our sister, Karen. One evening just before retiring, Joe was engaged in his room with a lengthy phone conversation with her. I went to my room and prepared for bed. Before getting into bed, I dropped to my knees and acknowledged that I realized it was not my job to guide Joe’s reconciliation, gave it up, and surrendered that work to the Almighty. No sooner had I finished than I heard Joe dialing his rotary phone. He called our mother. The next morning she arrived in Atlanta and was soon joined by her sister, my Aunt Jeanne. It was the beginning of December and I was grateful to have extra help. We became focused on getting through the holidays.


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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.