I finished it yesterday, November 12, 2011.
Suigee asked about it and I ended up writing a bit more than I had anticipated.
[photo posted 11/21/11]
I had been thinking about it all summer since Binker had suggested I do it. I had placed it - on the left as you go into Green Cathedrals, there is a clearing and an old, old fire circle, now overgrown and sprouting small pine trees. As you put the Green Cathedrals logs to your right and look at the small clearing, the old fire circle is on the left edge. The memorial is in the center.
I took a rock from each unit, some almost too big to carry and some smaller. It was an education in burdens.
I found 3 large flat rocks, one from the trail up by Tall Timbers and two way up the logging road. The 2 were hanging out on Hojo's porch for much of the summer. I had placed 4 rocks in the clearing as a start of the memorial in the middle of the summer and gathered rocks on other trips.
I didn't have enough rocks. I knew I wanted to keep the old fire circle as it was. I poked around the edges of it yesterday, not wanting to scavenge it but not being able to build what I needed with what I had.
You see, I needed to finish the memorial so I could use it.
When I showed Dave the 2 flat rocks I had gotten from way up the logging trail, he noted that they were rocks that had been blasted. At the time it was an interesting rock fact, but at the funeral home, it seemed to me to be the perfect metaphor for losing someone to death.
We talk about losing people we love. This is a given, and we will remember it because it hurts as the distance of death stretches the ties and love weighs more heavily. Mary hugged me for a long time and said, “She loved you.” Such a gift, to be loved!
And I didn’t have enough rocks.
But around the outside of that old fire circle, under about 4 inches of leaves and loam, were the rocks I needed. I dug each one out and I built as I dug, incorporating the unit rocks. Two stacked columns, one higher than the other, each topped with a flat stone, the higher stone overlapping the space of the lower by a little bit.
I rolled 2 of the logs that were sitting behind the Pine Point latrine up the hill to the memorial and set them each on end to use as seats. I was going to do more but I suspected the amount of cussing I would have to do to get the things up the %$#^! hill would ruin the ceremonious aspect of the project. So someone else can do that.
I had found a tiny bit of green furnace rock at the waterfront. I had been carrying it around gathering memories and sadness and remembered joy. Also in my pocket was a bit of white quartz, for a man I knew who hadn’t died but was lost all the same. I placed them into the lower tier, sat & did some remembering.
So next time you go to Little Notch, pick up a pebble and think of someone you have lost. Walk and remember and breath the beauty of the place. Bring it to the memorial, and let it rest there.