Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Joys of Collecting Rocks - The Benefits


Collectors are Keepers. Once you become known as a collector, people will have a better idea of what gives you joy, of the kind of things you like to keep. They will give you rocks as gifts. My cousin once gave me a dinosaur bone he brought from Alberta. A neighbour gave me a "Gulf of Mexico rose" which looks like a collection of sea shells embedded in petrified sand. A boss gave me a lump of fossilized seashells. Friends took me on a collecting expedition up a high mountain road where we found moulds and casts of sea creatures millions of years old. That same friend gave me a cluster of aragonite crystals, a pale peach colour. Another gave me a bunch of obsidian from Oregon; you can see the conchoidal fracture which makes it so good for chipping to a sharp edge. In some, you can see the fire petrified inside. One of my brothers gave me a massive purple lump of square crystals as a house-warming present. I lost the name, but love it still. It's the colour. And a late beloved friend gave me a selenite ball, a round clump of crystals from the Red River floodway, a connection to home. A client gave me a stone with a hole carved through it. It looks like David's slingshot, some sort of weapon, but it was probably used for fishing with nets. And a man I never saw before or since gave me a polished slab of metamorphosed sea floor found in nearby mountains, when he attended my book launch at the library. And my cousin (actually my Dad's cousin, but we are almost the same age) gave me two slabs of a pale white and sea-green marble-like cut rock which I suspect might be jade. She has others; someone at the dump gave them to her. She has bowls full of rocks decorating her coffee table too.

I know I'm not the only person attracted to these beautiful objects. There is a whole industry surrounding specimens as decoration, natural "objets d'art."

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