On a recent trip to Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah, I was hiking and looking for a photographic composition to capture my wonder at this place. And I saw these two rocks holding hands on a great smooth rock. I took the shot and have wondered why I so much like to photograph rocks.
Being of Capricorn persuasion, I am inclined to structure, tradition, achievement, austereness. Of the four elements — fire, water, air, and earth — I am earth. To me, a photograph of a rock is a small record of an instant in time on earth.
I have come to revere the silence and relative permanence (or simply the extremely slow rate of change for human perception) of the rocks. My car may last 10 years, my home 100 years, my city 1000 years, my planet – I don’t know. The rocks are changing too.
The pace of change we humans have now created flashes by in a world of tweets and likes, facespace, mybook, mytube and yourtube, and news cycles that are shorter in life span than a fruit fly. We love seeing people get kicked off the island (or the runway, kitchen, dance floor, etc,) . We can now make a video of ourselves and loved ones. An almost instantaneous record of what is happening NOW, for all to see for as long as the bits are stored on a disk drive in a computer, and the facebook accounts are still open.
But who sees the changes of the rocks? And how did they get that way? They have left us a record of their state now, but how did they get here? These two rocks were (and probably still are) sitting out on a smooth place on another rock, brought here by – an avalanche? — a flood? – a thawing iceberg? And how long will it take for them to become sand, scattered over the surface of the earth by the chaotic movements of the wind and rain? What really is their history? Are they brothers, sisters, lovers?
When we are young, we think our physical bodies are immortal, like the rocks. As we get older, we know that we are here in these bodies but a nanosecond compared to a simple rock.
I do appreciate their history and mystery, even though it is unknown, as much as the history and mystery of my very own soul.