Rock Recycling Itself

(I wrote this at a workshop with Deena Metzger at Rowe in April 2010.  I was outside sitting near an altar of stone set up in front of a big quartz rock.)

Quartz.  Crystallized slowly from a melt where all the darker minerals have already crystallized out.  I go to temper my soul on hard rock.  Yosemite Valley, climbing the granite slab.  Rock melts and folds and hardens again.  Rock breaks and dissolves, and in the warm solution Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen gather and become alive.  Rock learns to breathe, crawls ashore, roots itself.  There are delicate mosses, bright green leaves pushing through.  There is a stump and it’s bleeding.  Rock grew a backbone, four legs, began to walk.  Reptiles grew feathers and one sits in the tree saying “tsip, tsip”.  Flowers too and sky.  Rock transforming itself.  Dead bodies fall, and decay, are eroded, carried by rivers, sink and settle and harden and become rock again.  The rock sparkles in the sun, it has layers, banded colors, hard and soft.  Rock sparkles in the sun — it is an altar — smaller rocks gather, bring twigs and dead needles, a nest for rock babies.  There’s a shell here too, rock became creature, grew shells, left shells behind, shells gather, pressed tightly as more come from above, the long rain of shells that becomes limestone or marble if cooked hot enough.  Rock stands on its hind legs, grows a brain and opposible thumbs.  This could be dangerous.  What has rock got itself into now?

What story is written in the rock, what can it tell us for these hard times?  Rock says pressure and heat form marble from limestone, transform coal to diamond.  Rock says go deep, melt, stay long in the depths, find metamorphic, metaphoric, what transformation happens in the deep.

Love will keep us alive
help will finally arrive,
there are so many ways to survive.

(The idea of “Rock recycling itself” came from Elisabet Sahtouris’ book “EarthDance.”  She says there is a Russian scientist who describes the activity of life on our planet as rock changing form.  I wasn’t able to find the quote.  The last lines are from a song about the Holocaust.  I don’t remember where I heard it, or the woman’s name who wrote and sang it.  Just the chorus stays in my heart.)

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