… turning a stone – compelled to look deeper …

The year before the millennium, a then dear old friend of mine, Sitara Brutnell (I wrote about her in another post) found a stone on West Wittering beach during one of the little outings we did together. We both loved stones. I sometimes invest my finds with magic power. Those who have read my novel, ‘Course of Mirrors,’ will know a black shiny stone becomes a vital talisman to my protagonist.

As we wandered close to the purling waves brought in by the tide, mesmerised by the sound of pebbles tumbling over each other, we were open for treasures to signal us. I had already discovered a few smooth stones, white, marbled, pink and black, for my collection.

selfie that day, with Nikon suspended exposure

The one stone Sitara picked was uneven, jagged, with the odd spot of glassy flint shining through. Folding her palm around the slimmer end, it could have served as a tool to spark a flame with. She stood a long while contemplating the contours and varied colourings of the stone, turning it over and over.

I became intrigued with Sitara’s jagged stone, which seemed to me a metaphor of her concern for others, their troubles, their sharp edges. An exceptional friend in my life, her special grace was the capacity to forgive, always seeing a person’s character from many sides. The urge for genuine forgiveness shaped her personality, was her path.

Feeling prompted to explore her stone; I was given it on loan, to attempt a few drawings. The recent comment by a Swiss friend, regarding stones, made me dig up my sketches of Sitara’s stone, which explored its charming irregularities.

An ancient story came to mind, probably of Asian origin:

The two Pots

A water bearer in China had two large pots on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered the full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. This went on daily, with the bearer only bringing home one-and-a-half pots of water.

The perfect pot was proud of his accomplishment. But the cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection, and miserable about accomplishing only half of what it had been made for.

Two years it endured its bitter failure, until one day it spoke to the water bearer by the stream. ‘I’m ashamed of myself, because the crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.

The bearer said to the pot, ‘Did you notice that flowers grow only on your side of the path? That’s because I’ve always known your flaw and I planted seeds there, and every day while we walked back you watered them. So I’ve been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.

So, all dear crackpots, myself included, we have functions we know nothing about.

Enjoy the full moon. And if your sky is clouded, enjoy at least the special energy.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “… turning a stone – compelled to look deeper …

  1. Gorgeous story about the imperfect pot! Redeemed my day. It will last, that story

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Philippa. Yes, the short story highlights what little we can know about our individual path. It came back to cheer up my day me, too.

    Like

  3. Rob

    Really beautiful illustrations of the stones Ashen!
    The story of the pots puts me in mind of trying to make sense of existence in general….what we can see is but a very small part of what actually is……so how can we hope to make sense of what must always inevitably be incomplete information? The rational intellect on it’s own is probably not the best option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Rob. Yes, we often define things in a limited way. Stories, dreams and synchronicities can spark deeper explorations, which becomes a labyrinth for the rational mind.
      The drawings are all about the one stone Sitara found, from different angles, including the image where layers of time overlap, a kind of inner seeing.

      Like

  4. Sitara sounds very special.
    I love the story. It’s definitely something to hold onto. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories and thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful story.. Love the photographs – I can feel the strong wind and fresh air.

    Like

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