msb ~091 Shaped by stone

Shaped by stone   

Shaped by stone - Tegg's scalping, Image by Tom Baskeyfield
Tegg’s scalping, Tom Baskeyfield

Tom Baskeyfield asks questions about stone that “focus on relationship to place and the stuff of place” and contemplation of “the slow and the local.” In Dark Mountain’s TERRA, he considers both the stones in his hometown, Macclesfield – “a cobble protruding through tarmac .. drystone walls hidden between newer brick buildings .. weathered surfaces of paving slabs underfoot” – and the town’s Welsh slate roofs. The local stone also migrated, in this case from a hillside quarry. Hillside and town were familiar to each other; “like a trickling stream, it is not hard to imagine the flow of stone from this hill shaping the footpaths and roads on its meandering descent, and pooling in the medieval streets in the valley below.”

We’ve always been stone shapers; likewise, shaped by stone. I share Baskeyfield’s feeling for this, also encountered in Oliver Raymond-Barker‘s ClimateCultures post, where he finds an alternative to the modern, “inanimate mode of perception” while climbing in those same Welsh slate quarries. In “direct contact with 500 million years of alchemy” he senses this “is not a dull, lifeless inanimate material. It has a life, buried far beyond our logical everyday comprehension but well within the ken of our veiled, intuitive selves.”

2 Replies to “msb ~091 Shaped by stone”

    1. Thanks Keith – an interesting and eclectic collection of references there! I’m particularly grateful for the inclusion of Alysson Hallett’s The Stone Library, as I’ve been meaning to ctch up with this since seeing her at an event.

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