When objects are endowed with force….

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I know that this obsidian holds some kind of power.  I found it on a walk in the West Coast when I was around 20.  It is smooth and dark and weighty and sharp.  It seemed to be waiting for me to pick up.

….What is a sacred object, but a placeholder for mystery and faith in what can’t be seen?

People incorporate the divine into their personal landscapes.  Objects can serve as doorways between secular and sacred worlds.  They bridge the gap between human and divine by evoking emotion and memory.

I remember the day I picked this up off the path, and the wonder I felt then and now.

On This Rock
Mountains rise above us like ideas
Vague in their superior extent,
Part of the range of disillusionment
Whose arresting outline disappears
Into the circumstantial clouds that look
Like footnotes from above. What wisdom said
The mind has mountains? Imagination read
The history of the world there like a book.
Playing peek-a-boo with famous peaks
Afflicted with the vapours leaves a sense,
Frowned down upon by all that bleak immense
City of rock and ice, that men are freaks,
In the original program of creation,
Afterthoughts. Each jack pine seems a brother;
Even in lichens we perceive another
Example of our own organization,
Tenacious, patient, in a century
Growing perhaps a quarter-of-an-inch:
Glaciers do more daily, an avalanche
In minutes. The eroded immobility
Attributed to mountains is a fable,
Like the Great Divide. They move when you’re not looking,
Like stars and stocks, distinctly better looking
From a distance, and chronically unstable.
Daryl Hine, “On This Rock” from Resident Alien (New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1975). Copyright © 1975 by Daryl Hine. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: In & Out: A Confessional Poem (1975)

 

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