Diary of a Rock Balancer ::
Stone Balance Art created and photographed by Michael Grab — 06 May 2016 — Istria, Croatia ::
The beach rocks here (Croatia) sound like glass when they tap against each other.. curves sculpted by the sea, extremely hard, but brittle. Mostly pure white or cream colored on the beach (direct sun/oxygen exposure?), then a kind of orange color in the shallower tide zones, followed by a divine blend of greens and purples a bit deeper, then even deeper they take on a browner color, engulfed by underwater growth.
When they balance, they are absolutely solid. meaning they can usually stand a bit more wind than the usual colorado granite. Unlike granite, they have significantly less friction, meaning small vibrations can instantly make steep angles slip. Not easy to work with, but very satisfying to feel such a distinct vertice lock, even with the tiniest contact points.
One of the great dilemmas in my ongoing practice, is whether or not to add side rocks out on cantilevers, especially in extreme cases like this. Sometimes any added weight will slightly dislodge the core. I’ve induced several collapses in the process of adding larger and larger cantilever weight, learning a small something each time. It’s always a risk, but nonetheless an intelligent one, based on the stability i feel through the core at the event horizon. My previous attempt yielded collapse, and little time to rebuild before sunset. But i decided to risk it again.
‘All or nothing’ as they say… which reminded me on this new moon: if i really love something, I will be willing to risk it all in order to satisfy my curiosity. Tis a common theme throughout my evolution in this practice, shifting from hobbyist to professional artist, and even with love and romance; risking it all.. often times my own comfort, heart, and sanity. The truth is I wouldn’t be here now putting ‘the good life’ into practice without the extreme risks I’ve taken in the face of potential disaster. As i’ve always said, dropping expectations is key. Accepting and even thriving in the possibility that it may not actually turn out as i plan. And consequently, surprising myself regularly.
I heard Alan Watts mention once that when we (adults, humans) start thinking of the world only in terms of survival and profit, then ‘the shapes of scratches on the floor cease to have magic’, and hence we become obsolete in the grand scheme of nature..
I’ve come to believe that it’s the genuine recognition and appreciation of beauty and magic in the world that really does keep our spirits youthful. I’m nearing my 32nd revolution of our sun, and still enchanted on a daily basis by the beauty of these collaborations with nature, process included. Not to mention an infinitely complex world, be it inside or outside this skin. Each and every sunrise/sunset seems a most obvious reminder that our lives are filled with magic as much as we allow.