Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On the wisdom of stone

Here's a picture of Uluru (formerly Ayer's Rock) from my folks' recent trip to Australia. There is a kind of spiritual magnetism to immense bulks of stone that adds to the actual physical magnetism. Spirits and gods are always present where strange lumps of rock puncture the flat of the earth. As people often say, much more could be 'made' of Aso and Zuma rocks in Abuja. There are bound to be spiritual narratives from the local Guara people that tell legendary stories of the rock in its dreamtime, just as there are stories about the giant who made the Wrekin in nearby Shropshire (20 miles from where I write). If Aso rock were lit up at night, it would give Abuja a much more imperious presence (even if it would increase its carbon footprint!)

As in Doneghal, Ireland, where the landscape is ruptured by mysteriously shaped hills and mountains, Uluru and Zuma rock quieten the spirit, in the face of the awesome silent power of stone.


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