Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Am Stone Cold Sober

I Am Stone Cold Sober

Take from the sea its seasoned stones
scattered along the tide’s edge
Take from the sea its seasoned wood
drifting along the tide’s edge

Lug them great distances from beach to car
and arrive at home bearing sweet gifts
from the seasoned sea, remembering
everything came to you and clambered
into your hand or begged at your foot
to be granted a second life at your hands.

So many songs around stones and stoned
and being stoned, and one story about a man
who said the first stone should be thrown
by a person who had never sinned.

In the lore of the old ones stones call to you
and all of these have called to me, clamored
to come into my garden and live among
the others heaped around my work bench.

And three or four or five or six want me,
cry to me to be placed together in one singing
work of my hands. Then we must find
the beads to dress the stones, and the wood

from which they all will fall like stony
chandeliers. Other stones, unchosen,
watch quietly as the process begins,
the lengths of copper wire pulled, then marked
then beaded and finally the crying stones

begin their slow ascent to their driftwood
head through the spiderweb of weavery.
From the sea to the soaring is a long
afternoon, and one can listen to their singing
only for a stone’s throw of time.

I make these “earrings for the garden” and sell them at wineries sometimes, but mostly they decorate my garden and my home. I dislike selling them because each one is created differently, and I worry it won’t be cared for properly, will be thrown in a trunk of someone’s car like a cheaply soldered piece from China. My garden earrings are fragile and need to be treated with the respect for something held together by magic and willpower.
Needless to say, I don’t sell many any more.
The iron sphere in the garden contains a stone from Sedona, Arizona, suspended with great equilibrium from its center. One of the others I call the Tau. The alternating light and dark one I call Hope, and the small double one is my Beach Scene.
I started working with stones when I sobered up again after drinking in 2006. In rehab, I found some obsidian, pumice, beads, feathers, and copper wire, as well as oak branches to suspend them from.
They hang from a wall in the hallway that I call my Sober Wall. I can’t walk past it without smiling for the hours of pleasure they gave me, and the new art they inspired.
I didn’t take any photos of the ones hanging outside because the garden has grown so weatherbeaten. Picture these hanging from a shepherd’s hook, and you can get the idea.
A sober craft brought to you by Enchanted Oak.

Chris Alba © 2009


Nessa said...

Everything is so wonderful. Your earrings are fascinating.

Wordless Wednesday - Pirates' Strumpet

it's possible google reader dropped my feed again

Scott said...

I am curious, what do you call the Sedona Equilibrium Stone?

Shadow said...

they are beautiful. and very unique. as is your lovely poem.

and how are you, nearly birthday-girl?

the walking man said...

Stones can crush yet you have found in them a path of equilibrium Chris. I truly like the garden orb and see the earth with an exposed core within it.

big Jenn said...

I love the poem and the artwork here. I have stones and driftwood all over the house from various places. It fills my heart thinking of you creating these beautiful pieces.
God puts presents everywhere! jeNN

enchantedoak said...

I called it my sphere until you just named it the Sedona Equilibrium Stone

Brian Miller said...

out of some of our greatest challenges rises the most beauty. these are really cool. i love stone art!

Dianne said...

I love these, and are the kind of work I have done with driftwood. I also collect stones, but didn't know a way to use them, kinetic and heavy at the same time, like sobriety.

Thanks for the notes, see you Thurs!

Tall Kay said...

Thank you sharing more of your creativeness! These are so beautiful and your poem describes them so brilliantly. I would be hard pressed to sell them too. I hope I get to see your sober wall one day! Happy Birthday Eve to a very talented friend!

enchantedoak said...

What do you think? Scott has named the sphere the Sedona Equilibrium Stone, but Walking Man has come up with a new one: Earth's Core.
What shall I name it?

Lou said...

Sobriety seems to have unleashed a lifetime of creativity.

I can visualize all these feelings stuffed down inside for so many years, now springing forth with originality and exuberance.

Beth Niquette said...

I found you through Erin's blog. I, too, have a fascinating with trees--but not only that, the trees in my back yard are festooned with glorious creations. Yours have inspired me.

vicariousrising said...

I love just about everything about this post. I, too, love stones, and I hadn't really reflected on the negative connotation we have given them with drug abuse and stoning people.

When we moved into our new house almost 2 years ago, we decided our landscaping needs rocks that we native to our area. We had very rough-hewn granite, slate and quartzite installed that we chose right out of the quarries. It was put in around Halloween, and I ran around quoting Charlie Brown from A Peanut Halloween special saying that "I got a rock!"

Your jewelry for the garden is beautiful (and would look swell in my yard!). I think your poem has a sense of the stillness that comes from the earth. Thank you for this post.

Just Be Real said...

Beautiful. What awesome art work. Thanks for sharing your talent. Blessings dear one.

Susan said...

I absolutely love these and their story. Isn't it amazing what sobriety can bring along with it!!! LOVE your creativity. I have a thing for stones too. I bring them back from all the different countries I visit...

Karen said...

When I saw the first picture, I thought, "That looks like an earring!"

These are beautiful works of art, and I don't blame you for not selling them. They mean too much for that.

Lovely telling of their story in poetry:

"From the sea to the soaring is a long/afternoon, and one can listen to their singing only for a stone's throw of time."

Mary LA said...

A blog award for you Chris!

Mary LA

Her Big Sad said...

I love your stone art... Those are just gorgeous! I particularly like the one your called Beach Scene. Thanks for sharing those!