Monday, May 08, 2006

Even the Rocks shall Cry Out

Before things were written in stone, there were pillars of stone: cairns, altars, mani stones, monoliths. One by one, the builder found stones and stacked them into a tower. Often the reason was known only to the builder. A meditative marker of time, of place, or experience of the holy. A mound of rough stones. A memory. A prayer.

Then others passing by found their way to a destination. They located themselves in time and space. They too remembered, and the history became shared. A community was born before things were written in stone.

Asleep on a stone, Jacob had a dream. He saw a stairway to heaven, a gate through time and space, a future and a hope. He took the stone pillow and stood it on end, then poured oil on it. As the oil glided down the crevasses and into the dirt, Jacob named the stone, the dirt and the oil, Bethel - House of God.

These posts are my stone pillars. Though I am tutored by the Master Builder, my cairns are still rather wobbly. Still, I like their effect against the barrenness of the land I live in.
(permission for photo granted by creative commons)


Allison said...

Welcome Grasshopper!

The photos alone stop you in your're off to a great start. I love the idea of stumbling upon something someone else has left behind and trying to figure out what its creator had in mind. What's it DO?

But one question. Does Dennis Peacock have any teeth left? said...

Hi Karen,
I enjoyed your writing, your photographs made me smile, but you quest with the rocks, is wonderful. I don't know whether you have ever heard of a "site scupturer" named Andy Goldsworthy, but you absolutely must track down some of his books and look at his images. His prose is OK, but his images will absolutely burrow into your soul, I promise.
He is from England, lives in Scotland, travels widely to construct his pieace, and his publisher is Abrams. Track him down, it will give a new layer of meaning to your life and new avenues to explore.
Keep writing and "stacking". Bob

Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

Bob, I did some research on A Goldsworthy. You are right. His "images will... burrow into your soul." Thanks for the tip. I will look for more of him.

Please forgive my misleading, "These posts are my stone pillars." I did not mean these were my photographs. I have not yet figured out how to write bylines under the downloaded pictures. I found them at Wickapedia under "cairn," where permission was given to use them.

Anonymous said...

dug these 1st time i saw . . . .
interesting other post person (is that what they are called, or is it bloggist?, thrill seeker, shark wrestler, bald wanker with knife stuck in his eyeball, cardboard eater, spam sculptor, bowling champion,etecetcetc).
i too was lead immediately to thoughts of glodsworthy..>
ms Lu-ow, good find.

do you know eric

s'cuse me the phone is wringing

Anonymous said...

Thats great, I didn't know tony was on a diet, thanks for sharing the news. And, I really enjoyed the part about the ice cream. When were you there?
I would not have gone for fruity but I suppose thats up to you.
did the cowboys end up with jelly or trampolines are those permenant etchings in the rule lines of the pradagmanum or just elastic rhomboids for cheesburgers to saturate on a saturday evening before the floor falls down into a pit of sky filled marmalade when the telephone walks a triple donkey butter for mouse tails and nose dives when wellington boots are not enough to keep out the rain on a dry summer evening without a chime or a wind up of the old broken clock for teabags and jelly beans and gasoline for luxury and seeya....

I have found you, you will never be left alone again, it means i like you!!!!!!

allison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wayne alias anonymous said...

left "art" during wanderings, the purest of creations. gather this, gather that—Jux-to-pose, is suppose. It just feels ghood, it just feels right, the more one arranges, the more one wants to arrange, an element here an element there. a shape a form a structure away from the norm. Something so pure and true and removed from all we know yet oh so powerfully familier and inviggorating. gimme more, let me make, let me create. tehn sadly walk away from the anonymous moment. and slowly it taranscends from where it came.
this is art, where no one is watching, no one is waiting or expecting, it just is. no audience for us to anticipate, no audience to in turn criticize. is that art or is that vanity, that is the question. art with out an audience is art in a void. is that bad? the stone dont seem to mind!

allison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jane said...

I found your blog while searching for images of cairns, and love both the photos, but especially what you have written about cairns. I am helping set up a prayer room in an airport and we hope to use the idea of the cairn as a prayer aid - providing pebbles and stones to be built into a small cairn. It needs to be appropriate for all faiths and cultures, and we feel that the ancient act of building a cairn is just that. Your words are very apt.

Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

Thank you so much for your comment. It's been over a year since I started this blog and wrote that first post. It is more true now than it was then. I think the idea of the cairn in a prayer room is a wonderful idea. It is cross-cultural, and as ancient as faith. It is an act of doing, remembering, stopping, moving, hoping. And the fact that you stumbled across my cairn is proof that strangers can enter into the blessing and the hope.

Jane said...

thank you for responding to my comment. Isn't it wonderful that we can make contact with fellow travellers in this way. I have shared your words on cairns with my fellow chaplains, and we wondered if you would give permission for us to put them on a card alongside the prayer cairn to help people understand what it is all about - we would of course put your name as the author, if you agree ? The airport is in England and the prayer room is available for use by anyone of all faiths or none to have a moment of quiet amidst the business of life and travel. Many thanks, Jane

Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

I am honored by your request and you may use my words according to the intent of your letter. You may contact me directly at: