>when i say rock i mean story


On a tray on my desk, in a blue bowl on a shelf, on the steps of my front porch I have a collection of rocks. Some have come to me from friends: a bit of laced shale found on a hike in Japan, a black bit of lava from a point between Bolivia and Chile, an agate from my daughter’s pocket, a triangle of sandstone carved on a sidewalk while waiting for a bus from my son.  Flint from Arkansas, a loon-shaped rock from the Poconos.
A stack of unskipped skipper rocks — now, those are the rocks of poetry. The rocks are meant to be skipped across the water, but if I do that, I lose the rocks. Keeping them stacked on a shelf in my bedroom keeps the skippers from their one chance to skip. Oy.
I wanted to say rocks come to us when we aren’t looking but sheesh! How corny is that? But still and all . . . every rock has its story and most rocks arrive without my asking them to show up. The rock in this photo came from a friend who has only met me a couple times and yet, she showed up at my house bearing the gift of two rocks. Both came to her when she wasn’t looking. There she was, cooling her feet in a Colorado stream when all of a sudden she heard pick me, take me home, give me to Sherry.
The rocks in my house are abuzz with speculation about this new rock. (Notice how I am not mentioning the red and green glass? They are of an entirely different nature. Their story has yet to be told). New Rock is meant to be cracked open. What is its story, anyway?  Everyone who has come to my house has picked the rock up and rolled it in their hands. Enticing to consider what might be inside. Should we crack it open? And if we did, where exactly would the best point of entry be? If we pick the wrong spot, the rock will shatter and whatever is inside the rock will be ruined.  Pick the right point of entry and tadah, the insides will be revealed intact. Writers understand this.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

7 responses to “>when i say rock i mean story

  1. >The question arises, though, do we have too many untapped rocks on our shelves; is time growing short and would it be the end of the world if we, even just once, picked the wrong point? Perhaps we are intended to make sense of rubble.

  2. >I love the feel and imagined story of rocks. I have a collection in a printers drawer under glass as a coffee table.

  3. >When I grow up I want to be a rock worn round by water. I guess I'm actually on my way since I am worn round….

  4. >for some reasons i thought that stone was a magical tool – meaning something one would use in a magical ritual – at the first glance.

  5. >marylinn,oh wow. making sense of the rubble. this casts an entirely different outlook on said rocks for me now. also, i like the notion of writing poetry wherein the innards of said rocks show up in a poem, not entirely connected, allowing the reader to sense the connections.kass,i like the term "printers drawer". and i am not at all surprised that you have that and a coffee table in the same room, together. do all your rocks have stories?rox,my dear, when when when are you going to recognize your inner poet?nicolette,my eyes lit up reading your comment. a long cloak, a deep pocket meant for the magical stone. this weekend i attended the opening of a new art gallery specializing in american indian artifacts. medicine bags were featured…and now, reading your comment i like thinking about a stone in such a bag.

  6. >Hi Sherry, I have rocks- mountain rocks, river rocks- I love them all. I love this line: "Pick the right point of entry and tadah, the insides will be revealed intact. Writers understand this." But I also like Marilyn's observation of making sense of the rubble. If we wait for the perfect point of entry, we may never tell the story.

  7. >hi annie,somehow i knew you'd have rocks, too. the comments on this post are a wonderful example of what happens when we all talk. my focus has shifted from the point of entry now that the notion of making sense of rubble has been introduced.

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