Every project on stone needs a talismanic rock object. This is a piece of volcanic bluestone I picked up yesterday from the path along the Merri Creek that runs past my house. It's going to sit on my desk to remind me to finish my two other essays before I can get started on my new project, my affective cultural history of Victorian bluestone. Most of the bluestone we use for building is smooth, and has presumably cooled down slowly. The bubbles here were presumably formed when this clump of lava fell into water. I have a lot to learn about geology. But I do like this little lump. My first impulse was to wash it, but I'm going to keep it as it is, with the detritus of suburban/urban passing.