Tess Senay Raynovich Art & Earth Fund

Supporting artists and Eco-art 

Peace and Rocks

Posted by Tess Senay Raynovich Art and Earth Fund on March 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Just got this note today from Tess's Uncle Toe, "Here’s a story for you: a former coworker of mine recently returned from several months of world travel. We got coffee a couple days ago and he told me how he was trekking in Nepal to one of the Everest base camps, when he checked email at an internet café in a tiny village, and learned about Tess’s death from mutual friends of ours. He told me how, high up in the Himalayas, there is a plateau where it’s become a tradition to stop and build a little rock cairn in memory of someone. So he built one for Tess, and there it sits among a thousand others. Isn’t that something to think of that little memorial of her presence, on the other side of the world?"

I closed my eyes and thought about this. Peace, almostThen I began to think about the rocks that Tess had gathered on our last walk together with Otis. She had told me that she wanted to look for "good" rocks and brought a burlap sack with her to carry them home in. These were not small rocks that she chose from the stream bed, and of course her explanation as we took turns carrying the extremely heavy sack of rocks back to the house was "I have an idea." Within a few days she was on the back porch painting the rocks white. When asked what she was planning for them, she just said, "You'll see."  And then they just sat by the back door, an unanswerable question. A month gone and I couldn't look at them, another unfinished part of her, so I put them in the yard where I had spread the pedals from the flowers that were sent.  And I didn't look again until I got this note from Toe. They were still white, but dingy, where I had dropped each of them a few feet apart on the pedals. They were stark on the soggy brown of everything underneath them. So I placed one leaning on the next, another on top of that and then again. I stood there looking, still wondering what it could have been, but then the image of this friend in the Himalayans stacking rocks for Tess took over and for a moment I let go.  

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2 Comments

Reply Lindsey Jones
6:56 AM on March 6, 2013 
This is a really beautiful story and I'm so glad you were able to experience a few minutes of peace and a feeling of connection with your girl.
Reply Tom
11:01 AM on May 10, 2013 
a koan. sad, hopeful, mystery just out of the reach of understanding.

love to you

t