Warming the Stone Artist

 live as though all your ancestors and past lives were living through you

We are more closely connected to the invisible than the visible” – Novalis

An unlikely philosopher passes through differently structured doorways back to former lives.

The Greeks have an expression that goes like this! “The stones can speak – if you have ears to hear them.” 

Given that a huge boulder dominated the city of Athens and went on to become the Acropolis this isn’t so surprising. Master sculptors in the ancient world worked prolifically with stones, drawing out fabulous gods, and heroic figures. Moreover, as we all know, something as easy to dismiss as gravel was used to make roads and where would we be without roads?

Of course, the notion that stones actually have the capacity to communicate was not a new phenomenon even back then. Indigenous people in faraway lands, such as the Wurdi Youang, who hailed from a region that is now called Victoria, made stone arrangements that were associated with spiritual ceremonies. They perceived rocks to be sentient beings that contained deep knowledge and that were containers for memories. 

Tyson Yunkaporta, an Australian writer and carver wrote about the sentience of rocks in his book ‘Sand Talk’ and shared how those who ignored warnings about taking rocks from Uluru, a massive sandstone monolith in Central Australia, reported suffering bad dreams and bad luck. Not surprisingly they hastened to return the rocks they had wilfully carried home and there are now sheds filled with these kidnapped beings.

In Japanese mythology the Sesho-seki stone is a volcanic rock that is purported to have kept a malevolent spirit imprisoned for almost 1000 years. The imprisoned demon was said to have been a beautiful woman who was part of a plot to kill Emperor Toba, ruler of Japan from 1107 to 1123.

As if things were not bad enough in 2022 the rock suddenly split into two, causing panic amongst believers who feared the additional havoc an enraged female fury might unleash. Of course, given the state of the world at this time, there was more than enough mayhem to deal with and the freed spirit very likely preferred to retreat to the inner sanctum of another rock and enjoy more peace and quiet.

These stories, along with the fact that crystal lovers have undying faith in the power of their stones gave me pause to consider my situation.  You see I was more than a little disorientated when I found myself reincarnated and lodged within a mass produced, heavy, cast-iron miser bank.

Look at me now! Pull a lever and I raise an arm, place a coin in my only hand and my mouth opens and my eyes pop out as the coin is deposited within me. It is hard to imagine what I did in a previous life to deserve this fate. I certainly don’t remember initiating an uprising against an Emperor but here I am, in the possession of an eclectic writer who sensed that there was something more to my shape than met the eye.

Thanks to this creative, who has a reputation for empowering others, I have been given a voice and a name and I am earning my keep as a Cantadora, amusing her with stories of my past lives and stories I have about her ancestors who also knew me. Think of me as a modern-day version of Scheherazade who narrated fanciful tales to the tyrannical Shahryar. Happily I am not likely to be sent to the scrap heap anytime soon.

Perhaps, like my mistress, you will suspend any preconceived ideas about the likelihood of a cast-iron ornament being a sentient being who has lived many lives and lend me your ear. Apart from a bit of time, what have you got to lose?

Stan @skellie_stan on Instagram

Lives Well Lived

And so, I write as though my past lives were only yesterday. I hear them murmuring, calling. I strain to hear them more clearly and capture fragments.

I am like a modern-day version of Scheherazade who narrated fanciful tales to the tyrannical Shahryar. Happily I am not likely to be sent to the scrap heap anytime soon.