Here is a fairly difficult variation of yesterday’s creation. Same top rock. Same base rock. but this time i put a slight curve on it. The challenge here is mimicking enough downward force, to stabilize the large cantilever, while slowly lifting the massive top rock into position. I must’ve spent more time barely holding on at the threshold of collapse, than i did with minimal relaxed adjustments.

I can point out 3 very general stages of balancing the more technical, top-heavy arrangements.

  • One, is stabilizing the base to a point where there is NO wiggle at the **stress-point (Stress-Point is what i call the point at which you place the next rock, and hence all the following weight). It is all about creating a kind of pure yoga among surfaces as i move upward… weaving the stability of the foundation all the way up through the parts to the point when i place the largest rock on top. This first stage can take quite a long time, especially if the anticipated top weight is bigger.. In this arrangement, my “base” goes all the way up through the first seven rocks. You can see how the counterbalancing creates a very tense curve through the structure.. :)) my favorite <3
  • Two is the most dangerous stage in my experience, which is placing the largest rock on top and then adjusting the spine of the formation to neutralize the added stress. One must brace the combination of step One, WHILE lifting and placing a heavy rock on top with the other hand. I often use my forehead as an extra lateral stabilizer in these cases. I’m literally leaning into an object that could cause serious injury if i pull away. need I mention minimal contact points? Always space to reduce. This stage usually lasts until i can feel my foundation at the crown balance point.
  • Third is most delicate. time to make fractional adjustments as I tune into the zero-point of the whole formation, atop a very sensitive spine.  Here is where the deepest meditative states tend to appear in me. This is when nearly all the physical effort of step 1 and 2 is absorbed into the formation, so that now all i’m doing is gently touching the top rock, feeling for the most minute vibrations of contact. I must stress that I must still remain aware of potential and sudden collapse. They can happen in the finer arrangements. So i must tune IN while retaining a background awareness of how the spine might be shifting with my nudges. This is the stage where an ideal sitting stance is recommended so that I ran rest at least one elbow on my knees while my fingers are busy balancing vibrations. I also like to spread my fingers out as much as possible over the top rock because I see each finger as a mini antenna triangulating the sources of interacting vibrations.


If i remove this top rock, everything else falls away within seconds, because the arrangement of this particular curved spine NEEDS the top weight of this particular rock. If i used another rock, it would need to almost precisely match weight, or i would need to make small adjustments throughout the spine to accommodate the change. A great example of how EVERYTHING connects to everything else.

Sometimes i sit back and think how ridiculously unlikely it is for something like this to happen in nature, even throughout the universe. All while the Earth tumbles through space. or maybe “glides” is a more suitable word. The degree of smoothness in the way the earth moves makes this all possible. Such precision. And stillness. On an object traveling around its host at 30 km/s. All in all, another powerful statement of relativity. Movement and stillness like all things, are relative to an observer.

I had trouble narrowing down my selection, and there are many I left out, but here are the ones that made the cut. If you want to see more, comment on this post and I will append the rest at the end of this post. :)


4 Responses
  1. Steve Bourque

    I have done this on a far simpler level, what you are doing is amazing and awe inspiring! Thank you for your gifts of nature appreciation at it’s best!

  2. Bronwyn Lello

    Awe inspiring from another avid river rock lover. Can’t wait to get home and play in the river with them. Truly magical creations Michael!! Thank you so much! What a gift for my senses :-) I knew this was possible :-) I just now have to expand into finding what I can create :-)

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