Saturday, July 18, 2015

Changing Conditions

Every Kind of Light & Revisiting a Site: Back to the Standing Stone by the Path
Referring to the post Standing Stone (Morris CT)

    All too often, I’m "Off the Path."
    I wrote about it once here:, and used this quote that I often recall when walking off the path:

“A path is something that can be followed, it takes you somewhere "Linear."
What would a path stand against?
"No path."
Off the path, off the trail.
So what's off the path?
In a sense everything else is off the path.
The relentless complexity of the world is off to the side of the trail.
For hunters and herders trails weren't always so useful.
For a forager, the path is not where you walk for long.
Wild herbs, camas bulbs, quail, dye plants, are away from the path.
The whole range of items that fulfill our needs is out there.

We must wander through it to learn and memorize the field
--rolling, crinkled, eroded, gullied, ridged (wrinkled like the brain) -- holding the map in mind.
This is the economic-visualization-meditation exercise of the Inupiaq and Athapaskans of Alaska of this very day.” 
– Gary Snyder

     And I find, to my surprise, that standing stone is along the very same path I used an image of in that post in the snow in 2014.

And also, to my surprise, I found myself re-visiting some stone mounds I’d been to before, surprised they were so close to that standing stone. I don’t really have them fixed on my cognitive map (wrinkled like a brain, as Gary says) but how different they seemed in the changing light of sun and then passing clouds from that first wet and drizzly day that I first saw them {and this is the flickr album link to all the photos:}, and just yesterday:  {again the flickr album of the set:}.

Selected sample:
(Above: rainy day. Below: Partly Sunny and then Cloudy) 

(Above: rainy; below: sun and shadows) 

  Now that I think about it: That rainy day, this heap of stones seemed to be "a rock pile with a hollow" but what struck me yesterday was the resemblance to a stone pile in Woodbridge CT that I paused to photograph while on a walk with Curt Hoffman, the first archaeologist to ever point out an Indigenous Stone Landscape Feature to me, a stone serpent and one of the tiniest stone turtles I've ever been aware of in one of many cupules, circular man-made hollows on the surface of a rock or a rock slab, in this case the bedrock Great Serpent's head and body. The smaller stone pile I'm reminded of was used in this post: Stone Turtle Puzzle by Numbers, possibly of interest to a Rock Art Conservator who might see some validity in this testudinate puzzle hypothesis. I think that this stone pile above may well be another Turtle Petroform that was taken apart by a looter looking for "grave goods" or bones - or some knucklehead foolish enough to be looking for the non-existent golden Indian treasure con-men have been selling maps and books about for a couple hundred years - before TV and the Internet opened up an even bigger market.  
   Yes, I'll have to re-visit, look at this one again.
    Yes, it's Off the Path, but I have to "wander through it to learn and memorize... the...rolling, crinkled, eroded, gullied, ridged (wrinkled like the brain) in (my) mind...

No comments:

Post a Comment