Creativity Magazine

The Epiphany, the Cat, and the Stones: The Stones

Posted on the 21 June 2013 by Abstractartbylt @artbylt

The day before I had my epiphany and took home the lost cat, workers from Cayuga Landscape came to my house to deposit four inches of Catskill stone in two garden beds in front of my house. 

These beds once had bushes (see my Anti-Gardener story), but I had my grandson help me pull them all out last year.  Adrian was the gardener in our family, not me.

I thought the Catskill stone would look good in the beds.  But more importantly, I had it put there because it would require no maintenance and would be permanent.

I like fixing something and having it stay that way.  I want to be able to count on it not changing.

I hadn’t realized, until the epiphany and the cat, that this is what those Catskill stones meant to me:  permanence.

I am so changeable myself that I like the stuff around me to stay put. 

I need to control my environment, and you can’t do that with growing things.  The stones, at least, will seem permanent because I’ll be long gone before they are.

But the grass and trees and bushes and flowers and weeds?  Their galloping profusion is too much for me. 

I like to see nature on a hike in the woods, but I can’t be responsible for it.  I’m not strong or capable enough.


One reason I hate cleaning the house is because it doesn’t stay clean.  And the closer you get, the more you are aware of the grunge and deterioration. 

When I make a painting, at least it has the illusion of lasting forever.  I use archival materials in all my art, and make sure my clients know that a painting or drawing on paper must be framed under glass or acrylic and protected from the light. 

Even the art of writing, while ephemeral, may theoretically last a very long time in digital or material form. 

I told my daughter that I’m not leaving my lifetime of writing to her because I know she would throw it all out.  I’m leaving it to my granddaughter Rachel—still no guarantee—but a better chance.


All of the above is in conflict with the mindfulness meditation I’ve been doing, which entails the understanding that things are always changing.  We can’t hold on to anything.

Loss and death is part of birth and life.  Nothing lasts.

To live in the present, we have to let go of holding on.


This morning in my meditation, I pictured the Catskill stones—which are about two inches in size—gradually being worn down by the elements.  I saw them getting smaller and smaller.

Finally, they were nothing but dust.


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