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Andrew Alden

Making Rock Piles: The Instructions

By December 30, 2008

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balanced rockThe artist Andy Goldsworthy has made it very popular to build little towers of balanced rocks. Some call them vernacular Earth art; I suspect that geologists call them a slightly better variety of graffiti because naturally balanced stones are an important indicator of prehistoric seismicity. But little did I know that there are actually ten-step instructions. Here are the first three steps:

"1. Donít think about rock piles for at least a week.

"2. Approach the rocks in a way that makes them want to participate in your pile.

"3. Start from the top down. Talk to the biggest rock first."

The Myrtle Street Review has the rest, and the whole list makes me think the exercise may be worthy after all. Also, I've added it to my Geology Poetry category.

Natural balanced stone — Photo courtesy James Brune


December 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm
(1) Maria says:

At first I thought you had instructions for making rock pies. But this is interesting, too.

December 31, 2008 at 11:34 am
(2) Dave says:

Thanks for the enlightenment, I thought the stones piles were alters of some kind, I tend to knock them over, I may be more thoughtful the next time. However, sometimes they are just an annoyance.

December 31, 2008 at 8:27 pm
(3) Susanna Varestus says:

Thanks for the mention :) – The Myrtle Street Review

January 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm
(4) Dave says:

Hi, the way I worded my comment, has been bothering me as I seem to come off badly about knocking some of the stone piles over.
I apologize if I offended anyone, it isn’t what it sounds, and I’ll stop there. Have a Happy New Year everyone,

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