We have these stones on our bedroom windowsill. They are in a row with many others. They all come from the beach in Michigan, but somehow have drifted back and come to rest in our Chicago home. Out of place, no? What’s more, they serve no certain purpose, since most days I don’t even look at them when opening the blinds.
Yet the wonder of the rocks, both singly and in combination! I look at the rock so clearly wrought by violent forces, its contours stamped with the vestiges of fire, water, ice, tiny bits of life, and tremendous pressure. Inside it are crystals and mysterious remains, jumbled up into a form bespeaking chaos, freezing or squeezing matter into a memento that has lasted millions of years. (I think of climate change, and how shocked we are that it is happening.)
The dark rock had it easier. It is all one thing, apparently, a specimen of a larger, homogeneous whole. Its sharps edges have worn down from centuries of drifting with the currents, lying in the tides; baking in the sun for eons on the beach. It is harmless, free of pain and pain’s scars, and much more in sync with the powers that be.