In this essay Maccauley begins by stating that stone does not speak or refer to itself, but then continues by immediately questioning the theory just stated. I found it interesting how he set up one idea and then used the following lines in the paragraph to try to challenge the idea, making the reader wonder which he really believes.
After that he discusses different images stones conjure for people referring back to the times of alchemy, and referring to the Philosopher’s Stone, or as we in America know from the popular Harry Potter series the Sorcerers Stone. He speaks of how we as a species have been fascinated rocks and their powers and what secret they may hold. I agree with this theory, when reading the essay as a whole, not just this one part I thought back to my fascination with rocks as child. I remember before I was old enough to go to school my mom would bring me around to all these different facilities where she taught riding lessons and I would be allowed to explore and by the end I would without fail always have a collection of “treasures” that I had found. They mostly consisted of rocks that I thought had some resemblance of a heart or whatnot, but my favorites were the rocks I had found that had been broken apart. Where you could see the inside of it and all the fragmented edges, sometimes they would have different colors and it always fascinated me how they all seemed a grayish color on the outside but once they opened up they had so much more to show on the inside, and there was much more to them than what met the eye.
I often think back to this in relation to a passage from one of my favorite books Paper Towns written by John Green. In the end the main character comments how we can never truly see each other until we crack open and light can get in and light can get out. Now the author uses a ship in this metaphor, saying how there between when a ship cracks open and when the water over takes it. However I can’t help but think of the rocks when I think of this idea. That maybe we are like that rocks that fascinated me when I was younger. Although slight diversities exist we are all fairly similar on the outside, like the dull gray rocks that no one would give a second glance at, but how we, like the stones, hold so much more inside us that is hidden to the common eye. That once we are broken open others can see what wonders we hide inside just as the plain old rock can be considered beautiful once we can see the inside. Although this strayed from the essay, I couldn’t shake that thought the entire time I was reading.
Another point that stuck out to me was when he talked about religion and their relationship to stone. I connected with when he talked about Christianity and how it loosely relates to Jesus telling Peter that he is the rock upon which to build the church. The phrase he referenced is “Tu es Petrus super hanc petram, aedificabo Ecclasium meam”, which thanks to a combination of classes in Latin and four years in a Gregorian chorus I still remember. But reading that immediately brought me back to Italy with the chorus I had just mentioned, when we were singing one of our early morning masses but this one was sung at the Alter of the chair of Peter, something that very few people ever get to experience and singing that song and being in this great stone building brought together this sense of strength and stability in my faith that many teenagers don’t have. Although, there is no “literal” rock as is the case with the Kaaba, but you can very much say the Roman Catholic faith is based off a rock. Peter is the rock and the keystone of our Church and very much possesses the qualities that had previously been discussed for stone.
Although my summary was far more interpretation, I enjoyed being able to read and allow my thoughts to wander and interpret and take the material where my mind wanted, and then to go back over it analytically, I enjoyed doing this assignment.