A heart of stone

One of many reasons I like blogging, are the discoveries we can make, especially the ‘being inspired’ kind, learning how others express their creativity. Recently I saw stones that were beautifully wrapped at Donna Watson’s blog Layers, they were a gift from Nancy Neva Gagliano. When you visit Neva’s site Openings Connecting, you immediately see that stones play an important roll in her life, for the masthead is a beautiful arrangement of stones and she has been practicing wrapping stones, that she calls ‘RAPT’ for a number of years.
The notion of making my own wrapping stones quickly manifested itself in my mind like a song stuck on repeat. So when I found myself driving back home along Cabrillo Highway recently, I decided to go on a quest for pebbles and stones suited for wrapping.

Since I already had given so much thought to wrapping stones, I realized that such ‘art’ required a ritual and this meant a purpose, a reason, so that in the end one could interpret the artwork. By thinking of the possible purpose for the wrapped stones and its relevant meaning, a few ideas were being considered, besides it was important to adjust Neva’s ‘RAPT’ concept by adopting it to my vision, so off I went on a quest.

The process of collecting ones stones can take on the proportions of being on a holly quest, resulting in traveling great distances to locate natural deposits along rivers, streams and even the beaches of an ocean. In the end a location can have a direct impact upon the design of ones stone wrapping, altering the original purpose and meaning.

The day I went on my pilgrimage, there was a storm with waves clashing against the rocks, then fanning against an agree sky. The wind blew with ferocity, bending the grasses, and wiping tree branches to its will, I continued forward on my journey. With my hat angled to keep the brunt of the rain from my face, I proceeded down a narrow path to a small breach in the cliff, to a little hidden cove.

At the base of the cliff ran a stream that this time flowed with great vigor towards the ocean, only to be rebuffed with violent force. Waves had momentarily forced reversal of the streams direction and I was unable to jump across the stream because of the run-off.

Undaunted by disappointment or weather, I went about rummaging through the scattered stones, selecting a number of different sizes, shapes and colour of stones, while throwing rejects into the water. I picked up a few light grey oval pebbles and a couple darker ones that when dipped it not the stream to remove the sand, tuned almost black. My hands were already full of stones but in order to pick up a few more, the smaller ones were shoved in the back pocket.

There was one, half buried by sand, with a nice elongated thin oval shape that peaked some interests. Kicking it loose, I retrieved it and washed it in the stream. The stone, though heavy, felt good in my hand and so I kept it.

A few steps further along the streams boundary, a couple smaller stones were retrieved, studied, then either pocketed or tossed back. One of the pebbles that became worth keeping was the size of a silver dollar, especially after turning it around between my fingers; I noticed a notch, shaped like a crescent moon, giving the pebble the appearance of a broad heart.

Though visually I knew what I had found, its significance or importance did not sink in until I was back in the car and out of the rain, when I also realized that the rock that felt so good in my hand was also in the shape of a heart.

Though visually I knew what I had found, I seemed oblivious to its significance or importance, even back in the car and out of the rain, examining what I had retrieved from the cove. This included the rock that felt so good in my left hand, resting against the palm with the index finger naturally anchored in the rocks notch.

Several days passed before realizing that I now held inexplicable and mysterious energies in the palm of my hand, not once, but twice.

When viewed full size, stones appear actual size

Unearthing two heart shaped stones I take as a sign of good medicine, I also realize that in order to release the stones spirit, I will need to become one with the stone, infusing each stone with other elements having personal significance.

What happens next still remains to be an unknown, so for now the story about the other suitable pebbles, stones and rocks, for wrapping and adorning the assemblage would have to be told another time.


Anonymous said...

Dear Egmont, What a gloriously pensive posting and the timing so very perfect for approaching Valentine's Day. Your description was so beautifully evocative that one was standing on the beach with you.

For me, I should treasure the stones exactly as they are. They require no further embellishment and in my eyes are lovely in their natural form.

Susan Deborah said...

Oh! Egmont, what a lovely post!

The stones look lovely and in the company of your words, one almost forgets that we are talking about stones. You have given a spiritual and surreal wrapping to the stones.

The intrinsic value of these stones are beautifully explored in your post. Everything is connected to everything else.

Joy always,

Anonymous said...

Oh Egmont, this post resonates with me for I have collected stones all my life - such stories could I tell (particularly that of overloading our small aeroplane with a sackful!) Just recently I have been collecting stones with holes in them and your suggestion of wrapping has given me an idea. Thanks for that; and I do think your heart stones are significant t you. A.

Ange said...

Dearest Egmont,
I too have collected stones all my life. I have been known to drive 2 1/2 hours with the kids in the car to find a special beach on the Atlantic coast, reputed for its stones... needless to say we spent the day on that beach collecting, the kids and I. We had to scamper up a steep and perilous embankment to get back to the car and I had so many stones in the backpack on my back it was most difficult climbing back up. Yet each one was chosen with care and precision...
There is not a beach nor river I have not visited in the world that has not come back with home with me in the shape of a stone, and or a piece of driftwood or shell... What a beautiful post! One more thing we all share by the look of things.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Dear Egmont,
What great post!.
I just loved those stones and your beautiful photos!!. They look like a piece of art!
Hope your day is a good one so far!
Betty :o)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

What a thoughtful find on a meandering journey. There is a resonance here. -Jayne

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Wonderful description of your rock and pebble quest in typical winter beach weather! I can easily see how the larger heart rock easily 'fits' into your hand...what you do next will be very interesting...I like that you will sit with these beauties until the time is right.

Margaret Ryall said...

I followed behind you in your quest for stones. I know this path too although mine leads to a different place. I only collect stones in the summertime when I live by lots of beaches. I have a collection and each is precious for a reason.

I loved your composition with the petals - so many differences in both but they are breathless together.
I've never wrapped stones but the thought appeals to me. I too read Donna's blog.

Laura Hegfield said...

This is such a beautiful, courageous, healing story, collecting these stone hearts in the midst of a raging storm. I am looking forward to reading about the ritual you create with these powerful symbols of your own heart's brave healing journey.

sondra said...

Hello Egmont!
I loved your story and images. You are always so sensitive and thoughtful...my husband will enjoy this piece, he has always collected stones from the beach on Lake Erie and he treasures them, some of them I recently used in an assemblege. Thank you for the very meaningful and warm story.

La Dolce Vita said...

My Dear Egmont,

What a beautiful post, so timely and infused with

healing heart energy. I am looking forward to the

ending of this lovely story.

Mille grazie!

Marina Colombo said...

One of many reasons I like blogging…..è perchè ci sono persone come Egmont che, con grande sensibilità artistica riescono a conciliare due concetti così diversi: un cuore… in una pietra. Mi piace in particolare la fotografia delle pietre con i petali di rosa che trasmette poesia e romanticismo. Che dire poi di altre due fantastiche fotografie che mi hanno lasciato senza parole? Mi riferisco a quelle dei fiori che ho visto in “The Artist Within Us”. Non ci sono parole per esprimerne la bellezza! Non credo di aver mai visto esprimere meglio sentimenti come: grazia, eleganza, purezza, trasparenza, poesia, delicatezza, raffinatezza – tutte caratteristiche che vengono sicuramente dal cuore dell’artista che le raffigura! Complimenti Egmont! Ho letto con grande piacere anche “A change of surroundings” e mi sono immersa con grande trasporto nelle bellezze della natura del tuo paese. A Milano nevica e fa molto freddo, questa lettura è stata una piacevole fuga dalla realtà. Grazie per tutte le splendide emozioni che ci regali.
PS: La mostra da te selezionata è una delle più belle in Italia!


layers said...

great HEART finds-- and thank you for the mention and for Neva's connection-isn't it amazing how we are all connected in some way or other?
I just returned from a trip to Tucson and the GIGANTIC rock and fossil venues down there-- come home with more rocks and fossils of course.
love rocks-- esp. heart shaped ones.

Protege said...

Incredible post. I love the way you think and the way you see things.
My mother is a stone collector. When she and my father visited me last summer, we went to a pebbled beach and my mom immediately started collecting. And it is contagious. Very soon we were all walking around the beach for hours finding stones and pebbles of all shapes and sizes.
I love the last photograph...

Debrina said...

Hello Egmont - so lovely to meet you and how happy I am that you enjoyed my latest Pulp Redux contribution! It is indeed a labour of love for each of us, just as I see your photgraphy is for you! This posting about stones and hearts is just lovely. I have always had a fascination with stones. I like finding them in river beds and I love the way they warm up in your hand. Those big old standing stones - the megaliths in Europe - are an extension of spiritual steadfastness and permanance to me and that is where my stone fascination begun....
Well, it is late for me: 1.10am to be exact...I'm off to bed to dream about your photos.....

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Dear Egmont,
I really love that "stone with petals" photo!!

I just nominated you for an award!
Please check out my site!

Martha Marshall said...

What beautiful thoughts about these stones. They are already art because of your finding them. Stones are so incredibly infused with earth energy. Imagine where they've been and the stories they hold. And now a new journey for them.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It's nice to discover your art and writings.

Anita Stoll said...

I have never thought of stones rocks pebbles very much except I collect them from time to time. When I notice them in the house I feel soothed. I enjoy touching them. Your post today gives me something to think about. Thank You.

rivergardenstudio said...

yes, it is mysterious how one stone can hold such magic to us, for inside of it is a history of churning waters and ocean stoms, blazing sun and roaring winds... and time, so much time. beautiful post. roxanne

Kelly M. said...

small stones
we carry with us,
each holds a different smell,
a varied texture.
I want to pile my memories up
like these small stones,
to count each one,
to carry them in my pocket like remembrances of pale dawn dreams --
xo :-)

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

As a collector of stones...and a painter of the old bones of the earth... I really love seeing these heart shaped beauties! Thanks for sharing!

ifos said...

Thank you Egmont for sharing your stone quest with us, it is a truly evocative substance. I was born and brought up in the county of Wiltshire UK in which are the famous Stonehenge and the Avebury stone circle so I have been aware of massive stones all my life. I also recall the time many years ago when I backpacked across England from West to East, I picked up a stone from the beach at St Bees Head on the Irish Sea and carried it across the country to Robin Hood's Bay where I cast it into the North Sea to mark the end of my journey. I remember it as a very symbolic moment.

Renee said...

Jackpot! on the heart shaped stones! Lucky you. Thanks for the story of hearts found. So happy Neva's Rapt Rocks touched you so, she IS a wonderful person!

Seth said...

What a great story. You make a simple walk take on poetic circumstance. And what a find, not one but two hearts!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Very good eye you have for treasure times two! I am always on the lookout for heart rocks and shapes in nature!
You also have such a beautiful voice and express yourself in the nicest ways dear Egmont!
Wonderful post!

neva gagliano said...

how have i missed your recent postings? i'll check on my list...so glad you left a comment on my rapt heart and twigs, and alerted me to this fabulous post. now don't you feel special, having TWO hearts beckon your eye?
often, i'll just focus on ONE shape, or color, that i want to find, and walah! they appear. such a great meditation, these beach walks with the sound of water following along!

Jeanne said...

You are so kind to leave such nice comments on my blog. I have so enjoyed finding your blogs and reading each and every one. I am tempted to steal away to a cafe with my daughters laptop so I can take in each story in the solitude of my own thoughts. This post was lovely and I was with you each step of the way. I grew up on the ocean and have always have lived near it with the exception of where I live presently. The flip side is that I am near the woods and rather than search for pebbles, sea glass and driftwood which I have always done, I am now in search of those little objects that tell a story hidden in the underbrush of plants and trees. I have decided it is a more challenging task but enjoyable none the less. It is such a treat when you find something that makes a difference to you. I keep it as part of my 'secret stash'. My 'stash' from New Zealand will arrive in our container shortly and will be added to the beginning of my collections in the UK. I look forward to brining the sea and forest together :)
Your DIRECTORY is wonderful, I admire your due diligence and will frequent it regularly. I have recently developed a fascination with textiles and now have a source for that interest. My family goes back several generations in the Lowell Massachusetts textile industry and I have recently decided to do a little bit of research. Your other blogs are wonderful and I know I will enjoy reading them daily. Thank you for getting in touch and your kind comments. I look forward to following your blogs as well.

Have a lovely day.
Jeanne :)

PS..your question on how I manage 3 blogs...God only knows!!! :)

ArtPropelled said...

How wonderful are these heart shaped rocks and a lovely contemplative post!
My husband is away on a week long fishing trip. He is out of coms in this rugged stretch of coast and had to walk a few miles to find a place where his cell phone would work. Eventually his call came through. He was standing on top of a huge tree root at a very odd angle, his voice fading in and out, but I understood that he had found me a heart shaped rock for Valentine's day.

Jala Pfaff said...

Incredibly poetic post. And photos.

Amelia's Adventures in Sunny Cal said...

I have come to this site quite late, but have enjoyed its beauty. The photo of the rose petals fallen upon the stone hearts is striking. Thank you for such a gorgeous site.