fitting stone

There ought to have been more biking stories — like this one that whisked me from my Inbox this morning for a few glad moments to the Cornish seacoast, in the sunshine, on two wheels.

But this has not been my season for bike adventures.

It has been my season for fitting stone.

Summer is officially over on Friday.  My stats class starts Monday.  My month’s lease of the Writing Room ends Saturday next.

At least my rocks are done.  All the rock I have, anyway, is set in place.  I’ve been on the phone with some of the small quarries downriver, trying to scare up another half-pallet or so.  But my walkway stretches now from front step to the gravel drive on one side of the house.

We’ll be able to cross over dry shod once the rains come.

I’ve thought — hefting each stone, laying it out, re-arranging, scraping out the gravel to fit what’s sticking out on the other side, building gravel up to compensate for what isn’t there on the other side, jiggling and jostling the rock into place, grinding it down into its gravel bed, squeezing it up to to fit into the irregular shapes of the rocks around it, standing back, digging it out again, trying it the other direction, surveying my rock pile, looking for some kind of pattern, looking for some kind of fit — I’ve more than once thought I am doing the same thing whether I’m working in rock or in words.

There are easier ways to do things than the ways I choose.  Why insist on the unshaped rock?  Why celebrate the awkward and the uneven?  Why not pour out a nice smooth cement path?  What’s so important about keeping it permeable, rough, un-machined?  Why not do things the way most sensible people do?

At least I know where I’m trying to end up with the walkway.

(Do you think there’s some way to start planting flowers around the edges of the unfinished writing?  A kind of promissory patch of grace?)


5 thoughts on “fitting stone

  1. I really love this post. I am always asking myself the same questions. Well, not ALWAYS, but quite frequently at least. I am sad that your month is coming to an end, but I must be now organically inclined to the new cycle, because after weeks of avoiding writing and hating the thought of anything that reminds me of anything I’ve written or have ever considered writing, this weekend I suddenly found myself writing again, fleshing out some things, writing new things. And I had never even thought about it being the last week of the month!

  2. Flowers spilling over the side would be beautiful. I love messy, filled-up cottage gardens best. I planted moss amongst my stones this spring and it’s mostly filled in. It’s beautiful and soft and uneven and just how I like it. Pictures to some.

    Nice work on your path – knowing where you want it to end up and then getting it there is most of the battle.

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