Wednesday, February 18, 2009

faces in stone

In certain parts of the woods, PK and I always find faces in the stones. Like when we watch clouds form shapes in the sky, we see boulder frogs, gnome-like rocks clustered beside mossy tree stumps, and cliff faces covered with natural murals. Whole scenes play out in the way the light hits the folds of rocks crumpled by glaciers many thousands of years ago. I'm really interested in why the human brain needs to create logical shapes from natural chaos-whole monuments, like the Old Man on the Mountain in NH, are revered because of a slight familiarity in form. When they crumble and lose that shape, we mourn. I wonder if this comes from some ancient evolutionary need to find predators in the bushes, to look for the lion hiding in the trees just beyond the ring of firelight.

However it came about, it's a wonderful thing to use that imaginative drive and turn it to story. Sometimes PK and I will stop and imagine the tale behind a certain rock-figure. We'll whisper the spell used to turn a troll to stone, or talk of the creatures coming alive as soon as we pass, following us on our journey, always changing back to rock as soon as we turn towards them. Or we'll wonder how long a giant has lain there, unable to move, waiting for the world to become magical again. Sometimes, we can almost hear him sighing in his sleep.

1 comment:

Barry said...

My wife and I began discovering faces in trees, one overly warm summer day. So we've done clouds and trees, but never rocks.

Guess its time for us to look.