Palm to stone three, granite

Hello my vernal–autumnal companions. I think this is the third equinox we’ve spent together since I started sending these letters? We’ve already talked about the dizzying acceleration this time of year, about the absolute barrage of streaming changes, how the equinox feels like trying to stand still amidst a racing herd. You know, and I know, and here we are together. I hope you are faring well in the stampede.

This month we conclude our work, for the time being, with the image of the cupped hand holding just a little water. Since we’ve looked on, it has inverted to the convex surface of a dolomite boulder, then back to the hollow of a blazing crucible emerging from the fire. Now, the molten contents seem to have cooled and the hand holds again some water, which drips slowly from between the fingers. The image is slippery, for sure, but nonetheless offers some suggestion toward the reunion of a fragmented whole. With that, we begin.

You can read the essay that originally accompanied this letter in Rising water / Palm to stone, a pamphlet I published in winter 2021.

A black and white photograph of half of a split granite boulder. The flat shorn face is dark and the round back is light. Plants blow in the wind at the edge of the frame and in the background low dunes stretch to the horizon.

And with that, we end. I find great hopeful potential in taking on the work of bringing those split halves back together. In the case of the boulder and the monument, perhaps we settlers should consider bringing the parts back together literally, in physical space. Would that daunting work, both physical and political, help us remember? Could it be a step toward releasing this leaden dominion we continue to actively enforce yet know is doomed? I think yes, and hence it would be profoundly unpopular. Maybe you’d like to imagine that with me. Until next month, may the stampede leave you dusty but alive.

Many thanks to the people at the Leelanau Historical Society Museum, who assisted my research into this and other matters, and kindly provided scans of the first two photographs included above.