At breakfast as asked Paul Woods and his wife Sue what they had done the previous day. Sue said she had spent the day sitting on the ocean deck and went swimming. Paul told me he balanced rocks and then proceeded to explain how it is that rocks can be balanced in a way that would seem precarious. Paul used to work at The Royal Collage of Art in London and is a Fellow of the Toyal College of Art. I couldn’t imagine what he was doing “balancing rocks” but folk will find lots of things to do on holidays.
I listened politely to Paul, all the while thinking, “remember the coffee, did I turn off the eggs, looks like I need more cookies for the guests, what it that stain on the carpet, am I ever going to turn over 3 rooms by the end of the day, remember to put marshmallows on the grocery list” and then, I’m ashamed to say I told him all I know, which is very little, about Inukshuks. I am ashamed of myself. I have a master’s in psychology and I am trained to listen. My world was filled with a whirlwind of thoughts around maintaining organization in a busy season and I could no longer be in the present. I had become too overwhelmed to listen and with much regret, useless words spewed out of my mouth. My only excuse is that I was about to take a day off after 50 days of work and I had lost my balance. My universe was in a turmoil.
My day off arrived and I padded down to the ocean deck with my cup of tea and then I saw them. Beautifully balanced rocks, young rock figures playing on a tetertotter, a group of older rocks talking and watching the young rocks frolic. The rock figures had taken over the beach! I sat in awe. I was in the middle of an art show. As precious as it was unexpected. Unexpected and transiet as the sight would not last many more high tides. How appropriate at Paul spent his life as a glass blower, a media that is as delicate as balanced rocks and as impermanent.
I spent a good hour sitting by one and then the other and stared out into the bay until I too felt a part of the colony. My universe slowed down and I began again to listen. I heard the waves, the fish jumping in the bay, the eagles calling, and the rocks laughing at me.
I hope you get a chance to see the sculptures before the storms upset them. If not, perhaps you too will try your hand at rock sculpture. I’m going to put it in my list of things for guests to do along with watching the tide come in and then go out again. Not all holidays need be tours and rushing around to see everything. Not all work days need to be worrying about how many cookies are in the cookie bowl!
Rocks balanced on a teter totter