Mysterious Stones

After reading the Interstice: Stone passage, it became clear how important stone is to not only our culture, but to us individually. Throughout the passage, many themes are discussed concerning stone, such as the voice of stone, history represented by stone, finding ourselves in stone, etc. There was even a statement about how rock and stone assume the shape of “metamorphic music as in rock and roll”; stone and rock can be portrayed in any area of society, including music.

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The one theme discussed in this passage that most intrigued me was the theme of how stones yearn to live metaphorically. Throughout the passage, different viewpoints and narratives explain how we are not that different from stone in a sense that we both live – stone metaphorically – and that both humans and stones can easily communicate with each other, given enough patience. Though Hawthorne stated that “mountains are Earth’s undecaying monuments”, the factual idea of stone is that it, like everything else, “weakens, deteriorates, shifts shape, and perhaps even flows.” (53, Macauley) This statement shows how stone, though formidable and difficult to mutate, over time weakens just like everything else in the world, proving that stone is as vulnerable as humans are.

To add more to the theme of how stone yearns to live, legendary artist Michelangelo claimed that “a statue lay waiting to be discovered inside every slab of stone”. (54, Macauley) This can interpret the justification of how stone may look lifeless and inanimate from the outside, but deep inside, it is a vivid awake object that waits impatiently to show its true inner beauty.

On the same page, Macauley adds that “aesthetically, stone cries out for appreciation not just through sight but via the senses of touch, sound and even smell”, giving an example of the bell-sounding rocks that can be found in Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. For the sense of sound, Dylan Thomas requests for people to “let the stones speak with tongues that talk all tongues.” Another idea that intrigues me is how some philosophers believe that not only can we be turned into stone, but stone can turn into a human. Bachelard offers an interpretation of stone in that there is a struggle within the stone itself, something we may disregard since we have become too familiar with stone throughout our daily lives. This interpretation explains why stones may figuratively be sentient; it is just that we have shrugged off the idea because we are too used to believing that since they never move and barely change, they definitely can’t be alive. We can learn from a quote by E. W. Eschmann: “Rocks too, long for existence. If we but knew their instincts and the means to stimulate and fecundate them, perhaps we might raise different species of marble just as we do dahlias and Siamese cats.”

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