Stone and gold

Painting on stone with gold. 

This one, found by Robin on Abermawr, smooth and mottled like seal skin. The gold say well on the skin of the stone. I gave it back to him, changed with gold.

I painted a path on another, gathered from Whitesands Beach but returned to the wild at Abermawr where I went today to walk. I’d been back to Whitesands to see if the other I had placed on the beach remained. It was gone. Whether by the sea’s hand or gathered by a person I have no idea.

And I walked the beach gathering more stones to play with. The woods were just beginning to blossom with bluebells. Trees filled with birdsong. I placed the stone on the beach, walked off looking, trying to find another just like the beauty Robin had found.

People with dogs walked past. I searched and found stones that looked like they held star maps, stones that seemed marked by contours, red stone, smooth stone, but never one like the seal skin soul skin stone that Robin had found, so perfect in the hand, so mottled like the sea beasts. And then I stopped looking for one that was the same and opened my eyes to what was there instead and found something really rather beautiful. And all the while the minotaur sang a song inside my head.

As  walked back a woman stopped to talk a moment. As she walked on she exclaimed, delighted. Look, she said, look what I have just found. Oh I do love mazes. I explained I had put it there and was glad she had found it and she asked if I wanted it back. But no, I had put it there for her to find and she thanked me and walked on, then turned to ask my name. So, Annabel, from Solva, now has the path, moongold on stone. And I have a story, growing from small seeds inside my heart and more labyrinths to play with and to paint.


About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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11 Responses to Stone and gold

  1. Bernie Bell says:

    Oh Jackie, Jackie, Jackie.
    And I have two more pictures for The Wall.
    You really are one of Nature’s darlings.

  2. Bernie Bell says:

    As always – you may want to place it on your blog, you may not – written a few years ago here it is……………….

    Walking the Labyrinth – Following your Path

    This evening, I walked the path on a copy of the Labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral. This piece of canvas, with the Labyrinth printed onto it, had been brought to the East Church King Street Hall by a young woman named Fiona Fidgin as part of the Mission and Discipleship for the Church of Scotland. Here are the impressions I received on walking the Labyrinth.
    As it is, I use a picture of a maze as my letter-head. This is because a maze can be seen as a metaphor for life. You start off, you may take some wrong turns, find yourself at some ‘dead-ends’ from which you need to turn around and start again, you may find yourself right at the edge, nearly falling off, but if you persevere, keep on going, keep on keeping on, you will find your way to the centre, or your centre, eventually. And that word matters, eventually. It won’t necessarily be a ‘quick-fix’, it will be eventually. Now, a maze is a different thing to a Labyrinth, as the Labyrinth has just one path, no ‘dead-ends’; in theory, if you just stick to the path, you’ll be o.k. Or is it that simple? As I walked the path, at each turn, I stopped to look about me. Whilst going along, I needed to ‘watch my step’, but took the opportunity at each turning point, to look around. At one of these turns, I realised that I had forgotten which foot I needed to lead on. If I chose the wrong one, I would just go back the way I came. If I chose the right one, I would proceed, progress, move onwards. So, I trusted my intuition and set off, fortunately having chosen the right way! From then on, as I paused at each turn, I placed my leading foot, ready on the path ahead. I didn’t get so worried about my way that I just kept my eyes down and didn’t look about me at all, I just made sure that I could pause and look around whilst feeling safe that I at least knew which direction I was heading in. Not necessarily where I was going! but at least which direction I was taking. and when I stopped at each turning point, what did I see around me? I saw my surroundings, and I also saw……….the other people walking the Labyrinth, treading their own paths.

    This added another dimension to the maze idea. The extra dimension is people, how we encounter each other whilst walking our paths in life. To stop and look about me, meant that I saw the other people much as you would see people passing by if you stood still on a busy street. On the Labyrinth, we were in a more confined space, which made the inter-actions more intense and heightened my awareness of these inter-actions. Some people we pass at a distance, some we pass more close to, some are aware of us in passing, and we are aware of them, some not. Some we actually meet. Sometimes we meet them when we’re just starting on our way, and they are on their way back, or vice-versa. Some we meet in a pleasant way, with a smile, some stay in their own ’bubble’, are only just aware of the person they meet, and pass on. With some, there is a slight embarrassment, a nervous smile, but only because people can be unsure of themselves, unsure of how to be. At times, I was walking right alongside some-one, shoulder-to-shoulder, but each on our own path. Sometimes aware of each other, sometimes not.
    Whether passing at a distance, walking alongside each other, or meeting, here was Humanity, in microcosm. For all those people to walk the Labyrinth together successfully, they had to get along, accept each others presence, make allowances, and take their time! You can’t hurry the Labyrinth, it won’t let you.
    And finally. Fiona had placed little candles all around the sides of the canvas. I realised that, at times, I found my way by following the lights, moving from one point of light to the next, through the darker bits in between. “Lead kindly light” indeed!
    These are just some of the impressions and thoughts I received whilst taking my ‘turn’ on the Labyrinth canvas in the Church Hall. I wanted to be able to do it again the next day, to see what else I would see and feel. What does that tell us?

    Here are Mike’s impressions:-

    I started out feeling at would be good to tread the Labyrinth on my own. I would be able to have a measured tread, finding meditation through the rhythm of my steps and my breathing. So at first I was irritated at being pressed from behind by faster walkers, and at having to step aside to make way for others. Then I relaxed and didn’t mind – we all have to live together. And all at once I was glad that there were other people, to be allowed to make adjustments and courtesies in consideration of the paths they were taking. My job was to tread my own path at my own speed – having reference to others, but basically doing what I was doing. Rather than being an annoyance, having someone behind me breathing down my neck became an opportunity to develop a closer focus on treading my own path at my own speed. Each of us is completely responsible for our own actions. None of us is burdened by others’ expectations, except to the extent that we choose to be.

  3. Barb Rogers says:

    Your stone and gold labyrinth is so lovely. I also enjoyed reading the comments above. It’s a stream of walking meditation, from the beach where you gathered stones to this very moment as I read about it, thousands of miles from you in North Carolina. I’m going to a mountain stream nearby today and pick a stone. I did traverse the stone labyrinth with the cursor on my computer! Never thought of walking it that way!

    • Bernie Bell says:

      If you find an image of the labyrinth in Chartres cathedral, you can ‘walk’ it in your mind, too.
      I gave it to a friend who was incapacitated, not able to move from a chair, and also had become ‘tied up’ in her mind. She ‘walked’ it, and doing so eased her and helped to clear the mind-clutter.
      Labyrinths, mazes, spirals. Oh yes!

  4. I think you might be interested in my novel ‘Skara’ It is set in Orkney and Northern Canada. It shows the connections between the two distant places in the form of Ancestors, sea currents, flotsam, migration of Geese and Great Auks.

    It is so close to nature and natural mysticism that it brings them together. will find it. Bernie Bell loved it!

  5. Brenda-Dianne says:

    Quite interesting that two labyrinth references came to me in one day. I love, love, love labyrinths and, Jackie, your beautiful gold labyrinth stone just spoke to my deeper heart as did your story. The painting is also captivating.

  6. Bernie Bell says:

    And isn’t it great that Annabel found the stone, just when you were there.
    Stone magic.
    Speaking of which – did you contact Marc Edmonds? I sent him a link to this.

  7. annabel says:

    Thank you so much Jackie for my moongold on stone!
    My own work is always about retreating, regrouping and returning stronger.

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