For years, I have been collecting rocks.
My mother and my sister who do astrological charts say it’s because I am severely lacking in earth elements. I used to always keep rocks in my pockets, to touch them, polish them with the oils from my fingers.
The beaches are covered in pebbles where I grew up, glacial pebbles, scraped clean and traveled through a river of ice to come down to be lapped and soothed by the tides. I used to stack them, or gather a bunch of white ones and make a spiral, or fill my pockets full when I went home for a visit.
Then, I started collecting them from places I visited. Central Park the first time I visited New York. the south coast of England where my dad’s girlfriend lives. Paris, Edinborough, Chicago, Ocean Shores in Oregon, New Orleans, the Jersey Shore, Japan, Arches National Monument in Utah.
And when friends went places, they started bringing me rocks back, too. Greece, El Salvador, India. if someone asked me what I wanted from somewhere, I would say, pebbles. beach rocks. Interesting rocks that show the land of a place.
Can you see where this is going?
I have a massive rock collection.
And now, I’m finding that my collections are shifting. Where I used to collect pins, matchbooks, key chains, I am now collecting sex toys, cufflinks, ties. I’ve always collected books; that continues. But my tastes are evolving. My grounding is evolving. I want and need different things surrounding me than I used to. I finally know what Things are useful in my life, because I’ve finally found a path, and I no longer wonder if perhaps one day I’ll get back to being a great jewelry maker, or greeting card crafter, or guitar player.
And after moving the rock collection across the country, and never really doing anything with it, just leaving it in a box after all these (five and a half) years, I’m thinking it’s time for them to leave my care and possession.
The problem is, I’m not sure what to do with them.
I used 180 of them for the keynote ritual in the Butch Voices NYC regional conference. I wondered, when I volunteered to use my collection, if I would have enough. 180 is a lot, right? But it barely made a dent in my collection. I had no idea how many rocks there were in that box, where I’ve finally consolidated all of them.
I could take them to a beach, or a forest, and leave them there, but that seems … unfitting. Plus, most of the beaches and forests around here are not so full of beach rocks or pebbles, and it’d end up being an odd pile of rocks that clearly don’t belong. I could scatter them, I suppose.
I could donate them to a yoga studio or meditation studio or preschool.
They might be useful in a garden, especially the nice ones. But I don’t have a garden. I do know of some gardens around here, but I don’t know who runs them or how to get in touch with them. But I keep thinking they should go back to the earth, somehow.
What do you think? What can I do with this rock collection? Something creative, not too difficult, useful?