gathering stones

By: deborahsc

Jun 14 2008

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Category: Haibun

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Focal Length:30mm
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gathering stones

my attention drawn away

cinders in my shoe



Or questions. Stones fascinate me. In Ireland I begin to wonder if each county has its own special stone. Donegal has the bleach-white round eggs called durlings,  In  County Clare, there is the smooth slate that looks like books lined on a shelf and Tipperary has  rose-hued clay pebbles along the cow paths  through the Galtee Vee. In Glashú, Gaoth Dobhair, I see how the stones are piled to make strong fences along the water where winds rip and tear.  I hear in that wind one generation teaching another:  you may think the wall is strong by making the fence tight with stones, but no. It is allowing spaces for wind to come through that diffuse its fury. This is what preserves the fence. A simple wisdom of design. A way to live as well.


This May in El Salvador, I see stones here, too—red bricks as familiar to me as the walls of  Newark tenements, fading slogans seeping into the bricks.. Some walls, scarred, chipped-off stucco revealing deeper older walls, wounds High walls in rich neighborhoods where the grandchildren of the “13 Families” live their quiet protected lives. At the top of these walls embedded in the cement are pieces of sharp glass. In Suchitoto, named the cultural capital of the country, cobblestone roads appear as charming as the plaza, the cathedral, the art galleries and outdoor Sunday morning market.  I learn that the cobblestones functions to slow down the military when they invade. Visitors might hear, be tempted to  believe that the civil war ended in 1992,  but peaceful demonstrators against the privatization of water were jailed as terrorists in July 2007. The Suchitoto 14. The charges are dropped by the Salvadoran court in April. In May, the youngest of the group, Hector Antonio Ventura, is murdered  here in Valle Verde.



 mosaics of stone

art you can walk on, reflect
dulce et util

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