con·_tem·_plate \’kän-tǝm-plāt\ verb: to look at thoughtfully and for a long time.
Our born-deaf border collie loves to dig. She carries her prized rocks to the porch and drops them at my feet. Having a job is important to her. Her eyes light up each time she offers her sedimentary gifts. Over the years, she and I have become collaborators in the art of rock painting. Together we search, unearth, discover, and coax the mysterious and previously unseen to emerge. My job is to ask permission from the rock before I paint it. I hold it in my hands, feel its texture, and listen. If I get nothing in response, I set it aside and choose another from Lucca’s collection of treasures. The right rock at the right time shows me the images it wants me to bring out. I’m a little self-conscious about my tendency to anthropomorphize rocks. Still, I consider them ancient recordkeepers that move at subtle speeds, safekeeping the stories of the land. Perhaps Lucca senses this too? I wouldn’t have guessed, after decades of painting on fragile eggshells, these multifaceted backyard rocks would reawaken my imagination.
~ Cathee vanRossem-St.Clair | catheestclair.com