Bhavani Judith Tucker, a friend from Northern California, shares her joy and connection with stones:
When I go to the hardscape dealer to find stones that will be appropriate to paint, I look at the huge bin, considering which to select. I feel them come alive with my presence and intention, and I hear them call to me: “Take me! Take me! I’m tired of being gray all my life! I’m so much more vibrant than I appear to be!” I picture each basalt form in front of me living for 10,000 years or more in a river bed in Mexico. Unable to move unless the water carried it onward, or a fish or frog or foot jostled it, each stone sat in silent observation of the life around and above it. Birds flew overhead, chattering and singing and calling. Fish of all sizes and colors swam by. Flowers leaned over the edge of the river and splashed brilliant color through the water. Thunder and lightning, summer wildfires, sunrises and sunsets, the full moon and the sparkling stars…all left an impression on the vibrational essence of each stone.
After holding many, I choose 50 to bring home. I sit at my kitchen table, identify one stone that is insistently making its presence known, and place it in my palm until it becomes warm. I caress the surface and examine it for indentations, cracks, holes and other features that distinguish it from all the others. As I hold it, I begin to get an impulse, without an image…just a vivid quickening of life within, and I begin to look at paint colors and brushes until one of each calls to me. Cracks and holes get filled with gold, and the next step begins…a deep communing. The brush moves, more colors are selected, I’m lost in the alchemy of transformation and communication from one being to another.
I stop and look at what has been deposited on the surface of the stone and marvel at the vitality, intensity, and clarity of what had been harbored within the apparently “inanimate object”…a flock of birds, an explosion of gases and flame, a leaping dolphin, a meadow of wildflowers…and a whisper: “This is who I’ve been all along, never seen until now.”
To see more of Bhavani’s work you can contact Bhavani@mygypsyheart.com
The Brook’s Song to Spring
I stumble and slip-slide, spout and leap,
white crest unbridled by winter rains,
curdle and slip-slap, hurtle and skid
down a hail of rocks that clatter and
echo my clamoring chant.
Come, come, bustles the burbling brook
churning under winter’s smitten branches,
green-fresh burstings hover, lilting wings
stream in the sun’s drowsy beams, catkins
sloop festooned with yellow pollen caterpillars.
My surging shadow seeps into the shadows
of winged willows’ sauntering dance, throat
opening buds, excited yelps, humming
Spreadeagled on the road beside, wings
close— unfold— squeeze shut— spring
open. Esme straddling her wooden two-wheeler
spies the note-plucker, looks and laughs, “You
have funny eyebrows!” “Yes, they got funnier
as I grew older.” “Bye,” she warbles, “Bye,
Englishman”and paddles along with her feet
beneath buckeye, willow, bay and oak. Contagion
bubbles. Shadow light ripples.
Where am I reeling, where am I whirling?
My gurgling vigor jingle-dingles, Down
the downy, down by the down, I follow
the hawk’s lone cries to rootlets, adumbral
young ferns unfurling, the wood rat’s elaborate
branched den, ant, weevil, worm— thread my way
past mossy logs, woodpeckers’ nests, rampant
ivy, cow parsnip, leaping brambles, dark green
I gush along my banks with a skipping song,
while forget-me-nots tuck themselves in
ditches, dock and plantain spawn in rills,
shrills rise on penny royal’s sharp aroma ,
hazel wands’ leaves thrust from hidden
eyes, coral bells awkwardly slip out,
shadows flail across puddles, graceful
vultures circle, my simmering sap swirls
its way through your sap.