Sacred Rock

Did you have a nice holiday? Mine turned out very different from planned as a lengthy wind storm came up Thursday night and didn’t end until Friday evening. It took the power out for a day and a half which meant I didn’t go to Vancouver. Instead, I stayed on Mayne Island, cooked on the wood cook stove outside and kept a fire going in the outdoor fireplace for extra warmth.

Though I was terribly disappointed not to see my grandson other good things happened instead. My partner’s daughter came for overnight and we had an awesome visit and on Monday I worked on my paintings and went down to the beach to visit a sacred rock.

How do I know it is a sacred rock? Well I don’t really. It just captured my imagination and every so often I go and visit and see it if is still there. The rock is likely a little less than three feet wide and maybe two feet high. It doesn’t look like any other neighbouring rocks but is sandstone and possibly something else. So let’s have a closer look together shall we?

Isn’t it a beauty? So solid. So many interesting markings.

And the surface… what a design.

Close to the bottom the barnacles and little hats attach themselves.

Now I trust you can see why every so often I come down and have a visit sitting beside this sacred rock, admiring its beauty and looking out to sea. We have become good friends over the three years I have lived on Mayne Island.

I know that someday the sea will have battered drift wood against it long enough to wear it away. Or someone will have found an ingenious way of moving it to their country garden. But for now, it is a sacred rock on a beach in the southern gulf islands off the west coast of Canada.

Sprout Question: Has a place or thing ever inspired your imagination?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

31 thoughts on “Sacred Rock

    • Good day Chris. Yes the paintings. I was thinking that people would be looking for these today but I need to photography them yet and they were too wet and shiny yesterday. They are coming though… maybe I’ll have one ready for us to view tomorrow.

  1. Terrill,

    What a wondrous blog! Through my many walks I have found or items have found me, that I was attracted to in some way… While at Easton Mountain many rocks called to me and I used them as a path to my cabin… some I used as Zen Balance rocks… So yes, your rock is a beauty and is sacred because you have called it so, your attention has given it its sacredness… for all of life, all items are sacred we only have to have the vision to see, feel, and hear their voices…

    I am Love, Jeff

    I have a new blog here on wordpress,

  2. Terrill – Your sacred rock is amazing. I can see why you’re drawn to it. If we sat and listened, the stories we would hear …

    Sprout Question: Has a place or thing ever inspired your imagination?

    Yes. Here is a link to a photograph of my “God Tree.” It’s located near Elfin Forest, California, and has been a wonderful source of inspiration.

    • Oh yes Laurie I can see why you are inspired by this tree as well. Another beauty! Thanks for sharing the link.

      I have had several readers tell me how much they enjoy reading the comments here on Creative Potager. Partly this is due to our sprout question conversations but the other part is the additional on-topic appropriate links that deepens their connection with other readers. And Laurie you are a fine example of how this works. Thank you for your continued generosity in supporting Creative Potager.

  3. Terrill,
    The blog time seems to be a bit of a free flow at them moment, once I get a study feel for doing this I may find a “time” slot for it, so far it has been around 11:30- 12:00 noon Eastern time!

    • Good to know Jeff… feel free to link in appropriate posts in your comments here as well. Makes for a rich community gathering that way. And put the tea kettle on, I’m coming over…

  4. I see why you would feel this is a sacred part of the Earth. So very unique and ornate but not by Man but by Nature’s hands…wind and water.

    The woods behind my parent’s house was magical but only at night. The sounds the trees made in the wind was a song which lured me and many of my childhood friends in to the woods at night to play. Much to our parent’s chagrin. 🙂

    • Yes the wind in the trees at night. I sometimes still sit out at night for a few minutes just to listen to the night sounds and the sway of the tall firs in the arms of the wind. Thanks Scott for your sprout and coming by.

  5. You asked if any place had ever inspired me. Many have. My Manitoba hometown, Mayne Island and well I could go on and on. However, the most exotic place that has inspired me was Iceland. In September, 2007 one of my aunts, my husband and myself took a trip to Iceland to visit my cousin and reclaim lost relatives. That trip, the wonderful people I met there, and the beautiful landscape deeply touched. Now, years later I still write about it.

    • Leanne there is that about some places isn’t there? Touching us so deeply that they become part of our cellar structure. And sometimes like your Iceland, a creative musing which we come back to again and again. Great sprout and thanks for sharing:))))

  6. You should really process your photos. Some of them are alright but some color/contrast/sharpening or even the odd filter would make them far more interesting. They’re pretty flat and veiled. But maybe you’re just going for a quick visual record and aren’t interested in really working on them. Fair enough.

    • Thanks Freddy, you are right the photos in this post have had very little processing. It was a grey flat day and that shows through to the photos. I actually like that about the images – that you can tell it was an ordinary west coast afternoon on a cloudy day.

      This point actually hits on one of my niggly bugs about digital photography. The viewing public has come to expect the surreal to be our everyday. I am a member on a site filled with images for sale. Many of these images are “processed” to the point of glossy magazine quality with things taken out and other things added in. Others have a fairy tale feel that is as smooth a silk. I think of this effect much like getting dress up for an evening out. It is fun to do once in awhile but not to the point that it becomes my normal attire. So sometimes the images may be less interesting, flat and veiled. But if you should slip by and actually visit the place, you will be able to recognize it from the images I have shared. Some readers may prefer more processing. Fair enough:)

  7. Terrill – I love your photography exactly the way it is. That is, in great part, what I love about your work — it’s not glitzed, glamored and eamored. It doesn’t look “air brushed.” Your photographs are REAL. Please don’t fix something that’s not broken.

    Listen with your heart (really listen),

    – Laurie

    • I’m listening Laurie:)))) and thanks for adding in your feedback in relation to Freddy’s thoughts. You are not the first to tell me this. Yet I always find it helpful to be open and ponder all feedback offered because I never know when something will nudge me into exploring something that leads to something else and then another thing which results in a whole new world view. Now how can I possibly miss out on such an opportunity?

  8. Excellent response. Though I believe that a well-processed photo will look natural. Much like the Illusions created by darkroom masters of another generation, we shouldn’t even notice when a photo has been processed. And I don’t mean removing or adding parts of the subject matter. I suppose I find “photography as reality” somewhat boring. Photographs aren’t truth and that isn’t new to the digital age – it’s just that previous to the invention of Photoshop only professionals and rich people had the opportunity to become proficient in a darkroom. Clearly, there is a vast difference between “air-brushing” and simply processing to accentuate the more interesting aspects of a photo. But you know all that already and you make your own choices as an artist. I respect that.

    • Freddy now you offer the other side of this tension that I find myself holding. And I so agree… when skilled processing can make the image more natural feeling than the original image taken by the camera… I am in! Though the truth is, I haven’t learned the “how” of more than basic processing using simple tools.

      Right now I am trying to photograph some of my new oil paintings and I’m about to pull my hair out by the roots. Unlike my water colour paintings, the camera picks up all sorts of glare, shadows and bumps which my naked eye seems to be over looking. I would be thrilled if you had any tips on the processing or in taking the image in the first instance that would be useful.

      And this brings to light another possibly artificial distinction I place on my photography. Because I write, and paint in both water colour and oils and also do work in charcoal, I tend to move away from photo images when I want to express my more complex impressions and into these other mediums. In fact I have this silly little personal rule… if I wanted an exact image of reality I would take a photo. What I like about your challenge Freddy is the notion that “why stick to reality in the photograph?”

      Though I hear Laurie and I have also been told by others that they like the “realness” of my photography. So not to worry, there will be no super saturated, airbrushed images with other worldly creatures parading through Mayne Island photos in tomorrows post. I promise!

      Still I like to think about these things. I enjoy checking out the things I assume and stretching into new areas or ways of looking at something. Even if I go back to my first position… because I have a better idea WHY it is my first position.

  9. I am intrigued about how your Easter plans changed themselves. How you cooked on the woodstove and kept a fire going outside. I love how we can have everything planned one way and the Universe raises her magic wand and Another Way presents itself.

    As for the Sprout Question, every day something different inspires me. I so often gasp in awe at the sacredness and beauty which reveals itself in a rock here, an apple there, a sunset here, a sky there. Everywhere–inspiration! If we but open our eyes and see…

    • Oh Hybrid J please just stop by whenever you like. That is one of the reasons I decided to take the photos and share them on Creative Potager. For this moment in time… the sacred rock is here for anyone one to visit.

  10. Has a place or thing ever inspired your imagination?

    Absolutely, i think iof Irelend and the beautiful landscape i would go there again in a heartbeat.
    But thinking about this further, the rall thing that spurs my imagination is the place where I grew up, Saint Paul Minnesota and the magnificant Cathedral there. I went to some of my elementary grades at the school there.
    It is a great place to just sit and be, to explore and appreciate the wonderful stained glass, hall of the saints and the sacred chapels.

    Here is a bit more about it for your reading pleasure or visit the website for more and also pictures:

    The Cathedral dominates the Saint Paul skyline and is situated on the highest point in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. For the wider community, as well as for our parishioners, the Cathedral provides opportunities to enhance our appreciation for the arts. The parish hosts a regular organ concert series showcasing the Cathedral’s two Skinner organs. The Minnesota Orchestra and Vocal Essence are some of the groups that present concerts at the Cathedral each year. The waves of immigrants that flooded into Minnesota in the late 19th and early 20th centuries fueled the diversity that the archdiocese still enjoys. The Cathedral of Saint Paul has always been an open and welcoming community of faith. The Shrines of the Nations are testament to the important roles that immigrant communities have played in the history of the Cathedral. These shrines surrounding the sanctuary honor saints who were important to the many different ethnic communities that helped to build the Cathedral that we see today.

  11. The little ones and I regularly (weather permitting) rock hunt and skip stones at our neighboring creeks. We would also be impressed by the rock you show in the photo.

    I have an active imagination so anywhere in the country can inspire me. I would say that historic battlefields leave an impression on me. Standing in the sunken road at Antietam National Battlefield is one a place that generates lots of questions and thought for me.

    • Slamdunk I don’t think I have ever stood on a battlefield – at least in a recognized war kind of way. I’ve never really thought about doing so. Hummm How interesting. Yes I can see how “the little ones” and you might be impressed by this stone and then you would go to the many other smaller ones on the beach and turn them over. There you will discover little crabs and other wiggly things and maybe a clam will spit in your eye…. now I’m teasing. They try not to spit when you are close because it is too easy to make dinner out of them then.

      I haven’t been down by a creek bed in a long while. About this time of year my younger brothers and I used to go fishing for brook trout with my father. Great fun. We would cut a green willow stick and add a chunk of line and a hook with a worm. Then we would throw our line into the creek (trying not to get hung up on someones ear in between). Very quickly we would have a fish. With great excitement and much yelling we would sort of whip it up on the bank and run like crazy to grab it before it got off the hook and flipped its way back into the creek. Then if it was big enough, the fish would be sacrificed (with swift skill and dexterity) by my father, cleaned by us and hung on a stick at the edge of the creek until it was time to take the catch home for lunch. Delicious.

  12. “It took the power out for a day and a half which meant I didn’t go to Vancouver. Instead, I stayed on Mayne Island, cooked on the wood cook stove outside and kept a fire going in the outdoor fireplace for extra warmth.”

    I know you were disappointed, but there is something so natural and cozy with what you did here to stay warm in Mayne Island. It harkens for me back to my days camping, which I guess is the closest sustained experience I’ve had to living in the wild, so to speak. But again here, a fabulous series of photographs of the sacred rock, and a wonderful sprout question.

    Snow is the element of nature that jogs my imagination the most, as there is something peaceful and mysterious when you are out when it falls. Of course it’s nightime when the effect is most profound.

    • Sam it is like camping though we were very happy when the power came back on just after dinner on the Saturday evening. The house was starting to get a bit cool for comfort at 61 degrees. Great sprout response… I remember that about snow as well (even though we get very little here on Mayne Island). I also find it magical when the temperatures drop way down to 35 or 40 below with clear night skies with the northern lights snapping a passage way through to my imagination.

  13. Pingback: sandstone slideshow « Creativepotager's Blog

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