Diary of a Rock Balancer ::

Stone Balance Art created and photographed by Michael Grab — 18 February 2019 — California, USA ::

Tuning In

The biggest challenge with balancing on the California coast thus far, is the constant wind. Significantly moreso than my experience on the Pacific coast in Costa Rica. However, despite the overwhelming and often frustrating challenge, extreme balance has still proven Possible.

Here’s my studio in recent days:

A small cove with minimal shelter form wind, less people traffic, and a microcosm of earth rhythms which help channel my attention into the present moment.

I’ve become enchanted by several things here, including the way this creeks carves its way out to the ocean following each high-tide. Every instance is utterly unique in the path it sculpts through the sand. So my curiosity has me setting up time-lapses of the path it takes each day. The above photo is a frame from one of those time-lapses.

Meanwhile i lose myself exploring every detail of the surrounding cove… reading tide tables and comparing the measurements to my observations in person. for example, if the table says so and so height for a given high or low tide, i then compare that to the general wave reach on the beach, and over time build up a kind of radar of when and where levels will be each day.

Engaging with these rhythms does a wonderful job of dropping into the “oceanic feeling” described by Freud. or that feeling of oneness with the world. language dissolves into the crashing of tides, and i begin paying attention to tiniest details such as grains of sand, light and shadow patterns, all of it!

I’ve also become hypnotized by various wave bursts on rocks . . .

And then once in awhile, when i’ve all but abandoned hope, and fully tuned into the day’s conditions, and hence the tiniest deviations, I notice short breaks in the wind, which theoretically allow me to let go of a precision balance, sprint for my camera, and snap a few shots before the next gust.

This balance lasted for only a minute or two before blowing over, but enough time to snap a quick photo. . .

still need to practice the whole tuning thing, but succeeding once in awhile gives me enough hope to continue the dance.

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