I saw this image—and I was struck.
It is fascinating how a photo of something inanimate can capture so many feelings of the human experience. The tranquility, curiosity, and inspiration I felt caused me to pause and appreciate everything it had to say.
I quickly forwarded it to a close friend. He responded with distrust.
For he, as most of us, has learned quick skepticism about the images that bombard our social media pages every day.
I can see why, if you are not familiar with the art of stone balancing that Michael Grab (Gravity Glue) does with utmost perfection, this image would feel too good to be real.
But when you allow yourself to trust, this art can take on personal meaning and become a reflection of your own story.
This time in my life is about me.
Does it feel a bit self-indulgent? Yes, though I have come to understand that it is really about self-care.
For the first time in my life, I am looking inward and searching for a love within myself that before this day, I only pretended into existence. As I am about to turn 50, I have finally learned that the love that I have been so desperately seeking from others is found within.
It is with this lens that I look at the image.
Balance is fragile. I can almost feel it teetering, yet strangely, it feels steady and fixed.
It is in balance, working against and with the opposing forces.
Gravity is both friend and foe; it is the force that holds these rocks together, as well as the force that will cause them to topple.
The fragility and vulnerability are almost tangible. All it takes is one additional small force. A minute gust of wind. The wisp of a seed falling on it. The flap of the wing of a bird flying too near.
Yet each stone has its beauty. It carries with it a unique story of strength, resilience, and change. Having been shaped, weathered, and eroded over millions of years, it is fundamental to the harmony of the whole.
There is also a strength, as it stands there steadfast in its ability to balance while water continuously flows around it. The water does not pause for fear of adding vibrations. The water flows, oblivious to the delicate nature of the balance.
Will the balance remain forever?
No. There are too many factors that cause unrest. But that is nature, that is life. The causes of change can be unknown and difficult to predict.
It’s a fact that change is inevitable, and because of its precarious positioning, balance will be lost, and it will fall.
And in life, when it does, there are choices to be made:
Do I rebuild, knowing that it will never be the same? Perhaps it will be even more beautiful.
What if I rebuild and it is more fragile, and it falls again? Will I ever find those same pieces? Should I?
Or do I just let it lie in its natural state and find something new?
There was a reason that it was built, and each time there are lessons to learn. Art allows us to draw our conclusions.
My takeaways? There is beauty in balance and opportunity in imbalance. Outside forces influence it, and sometimes the balance is lost. One simply needs to start again, shaped differently, but still beautiful, still resilient, and a valuable piece to the collective whole.