Monday, July 22, 2013

When Stones Speak

Some people think of creativity as something that artists possess. It might be more helpful to think of it as Jung did, as an instinct. We can bring creativity to almost every life activity. Moreover, we can use certain imaginative forms of creative expression through the arts to explore personal, spiritual, and psychological development. These forms do not need artistic talent but simply artistic expression for the soul’s sake. Metaphor, imagination, symbol can be said to be the soul’s native language. --  Jill Mellick, Marion Woodman: Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman's Body and Soul

At a recent writing retreat, we created stone mandalas.  We arranged them to create a larger mandala.  This photo doesn’t do it justice, but you get the idea: 
 The prompt invited us to write to this question: “If your stone could speak, what would it have to tell you?”

This was my reflection, written quickly during a fast write:

Breathing in the warm pink, the charcoal grey, I alter your perfect beauty, washed smooth on the shores of an ancient lake. I feel the cool stone at my fingertips and struggle to follow some invisible spiral spine, marking the moment in stone.  Shoulder to shoulder in the silence of this womanspace, I work the present moment, follow the dots, the pen, the paintbrush point by point and line by thin line.

What is this fascination I have with stones, so nearly round…so receptive to what comes?  Cool when it’s cold.  Shiny when wet.  Warm when the sun shines.  A radiance of roundness.  

They speak to me like this-- say, “Wait. Endure. Receive. Radiate. Be still in your perfect beauty, the comfort you offer to others.  Put yourself in hands both young and old, remember your short time on earth, and remember that life is long enough.  Be grateful for what is round and for beauty both fleeting and enduring.

I want to brush my cheek with my stone, press it to my heart and remember its wisdom on ragged days. I’m glad for the ground I walk upon and the stones that guide me when I ask them to speak.


Grateful for the peace of St. Mary of the Woods.
Grateful for the company of soulful writing women.
Grateful for stones.

BLR for the Poplar Grove Muse 7-22-13


  1. BLR - When I read your words, I hear your calming voice. I hope the retreat went well.

  2. The reports from the retreats are always so calm, calming, filled with restored vision and brimming over with good will. Always wonderful to read. MKP

  3. I'm an avid stone collector and I loved the mandala exercise and writing about the stones speaking to us. As always, a lovely weekend at St.Mary's. Thank you, Beth.