I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Brief Lyrical Interlude about Time

I took this photo at the cemetery last week: lichen on bluestone. I love the contiguity of patterns here: a lovely symmetry of little bubbles in the stone under the layer of little flowers in the lichen. The lichen looks as if it has been dropped — splat! splat! — onto the rock from a giant ladle but of course it has grown by spreading out, incrementally, over the surface in thin, widening and conjoining circles. At first glance it looks like a contrast between informal, spontaneous, organic growth — the colour of pale new spring; and an unyielding, formal, institutional surface — the dark grey of heritage time. And in once sense that's true. But the stone, now cut into in a rectangular block, was once part of a molten red volcanic flow, moving and bubbling much faster than lichen could ever grow. And in a cemetery? Time capsules everywhere.

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