October 16, 2003

Stationed between the Ancestral Midden and the Spiral of Hope, the Split Rock is a six ton hunk of stone sawn in two with each inside half polished.

sprial split rock

The symbolism of its initial concept was to make visual the dynamics behind the deep weathering of our personal character by the forces of life. When one is broken open repeatedly or when one’s heart is cracked, buffed and polished by life’s winds (whether through intense joy or sorrow) we can then age into maturity fully compassionate. And able to demonstrate, as James HIllman would attest, “the force of character”.

To seek to protect oneself from pain and to live in the emotional gated community of perpetual comfort zones might seem to be an easy escape through life, but like the personality of the 70 year old who has had one facelift too many, one sleeping pill too many and one shopping trip too many, the wrinkled, compassionate elder that should have emerged to guide the younger generations into a fuller wisdom has disappeared into a pitiful joke.

This morning as I walked past the Split Rock, the spiral symbol of perpetual hope and rebirth was reflected on the side of one of the two halves. In this dawn light, the penny dropped for me as I further realized that for any of us to perceive or grasp the future, it is imperative that we have allowed the winds of life to polish our hearts. In this way, the image of our future will be more clear and easier to foresee.

I also liked that the reflected spiral image pointed in the direction of the Ancestral Midden, an area dedicated to honoring the past. It seemed to suggest that our ability to embrace the concept of living in the Long Now (of holding the past, present and future simultaneously) would require being an active participant in the shaping agents of life.

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