Monday, May 21, 2007

Contest winners! Plus, Rorschach Rocks!

Jenni from Chronic Babe has picked the winners of her "Beyond Casseroles" contest, and I'm thrilled to be one of them! You can read all five winning entries here. I'm really looking forward to getting the book, which should come in very handy at the hospital.

Speaking of the hospital, I wrote three more ED sonnets this morning. Five more to go! Woo-hoo!

And speaking of chronic illness, I got an idea on the bus back from the beach the other day: I think I'll try to use the "Explorations in Clay" course I'm taking this summer to make prayer objects, maybe boxes, for people with chronic or drawn-out medical conditions. Various rocks I picked up look like medical conditions to me, which is what gave me the idea. My current thinking is that I'd imbed the stone in the lid of the box, with a design around it that somehow transforms the image on the stone. That may be too abstract and unworkable, though, especially given my currently nonexistent technical skills. Maybe I could imbed each stone in a plaque, with a short prayer inscribed on it? Or would it be too weird to include something that "looked like" the illness or condition in an object intended to promote spiritual healing?

I like the idea of doing that, though, because people with chronic conditions have to find ways to incorporate their medical status into the rest of their lives. Instead of pretending the condition isn't there, they have to cope with it daily (or on a fairly regular basis, anyway, as migraine sufferers do).

So here are some pictures of rocks that remind me of illnesses or chronic conditions. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

This looks like a migraine to me, like a head with white jagged lines going through it -- or maybe like schizophrenia, with all that extra stuff going on and fracturing what most people call reality.

Or maybe it looks like some sort of x-ray. What do you think? With all of these, I'm really curious to hear what readers see in them!

Yes, it's a new party game! Rorschach Rocks!

These two rocks, put together, look like bones or joints to me, and would make a great object for someone with arthritis or back pain.

Or maybe for someone waiting for a knee or hip replacement? Hmmmm . . . .

Although they could also look like a mother with a rather large child, couldn't they? The Mineral Madonna!

The hole in the middle of this rock has what looks like another small rock inside: to me, it looks like a tumor, and I'd like to incorporate it into something for someone with cancer . . . although I guess it could represent a hernia or a stoma, too, or even depression, which makes people feel so small in a vast, uncaring universe. Or it could simply stand for the state of feeling overwhelmed by medical matters.

This very smooth rock, gray with a stripe of orange at the top, also reminds me of depression: one that's just started to open up to let in some sunlight . . . or maybe of sunlight being beaten back by depression? You can see it either way, which I suppose would make it doubly applicable. Whatever object I make with this rock -- and being realistic, I won't have time to make many of these in six weeks -- I may keep it for myself.

So those are the medical rocks, but I took pictures of some others, just because they're neat.

Here are my three cross rocks. The one on the left is from two years ago; the other two I found this year. I'd like to have the one on the left turned into a pendant with a very simple sterling bezel setting.

Here's one for all you math fans! Doesn't this look like the Greek symbol for pi? The quartz veining on this is exceptionally pretty, too. (But then, I think nearly every rock's pretty in one way or another. How can people not be fascinated by rocks? I just don't get it.)

This one really looks like a Goddess figure to me, and would make a great gift for a Wiccan friend. It would be easy to make into a necklace, too: just wrap some twine or wire or leather lace around the groove, and you have your setting.

The rock itself is plainer than some of the others, though: dull gray, with no interesting marking or veining. So it might need some other decoration.

I call this little rock "Saturn's Ring," and I think it's a very simple, elegant composition. The ring loops around the back of the stone, forming its own perfect oval. This one has to stay loose, so the admirer can turn it and see the design from all angles.

And that's not all the rocks I have . . . they're on shelves, on top of dressers, on my desk at work. I found all of these on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, but I also have some very old ones from Montauk, where we used to vacation when I was a kid, and friends bring them to me from other places. I know nothing about their scientific descriptions or chemical composition; all I know is that I like them.

Hey, everybody needs a hobby!


  1. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Susan, you've become a true Nevada girl. I have so many rocks -- as a matter of fact, just picked up a new one on the Steamboat Ditch trail today that really has no business being there. It was simply out of place with the indigenous rock. Bet some human transported it eons ago.


  2. I was into rocks long before we moved to Nevada! But it's confirmation that I'm in the right place, I guess!


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