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Friday, June 19, 2009

My Rock Habit

I’ve got a thing for rocks. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been attracted to rocks: granite, sandstone, shale, agates.

Everyone in my family is like this. My mother and my sister both incorporate rocks in the scheme of things.

My brother had a rock polisher when we were little. It droned on, rolling non-stop for days and days and days. He only used it once, that I can recall – we were spastic, distract-able children – but I was jealous of the agates he got out of it, courtesy of Lake Superior.

Even today, wherein he is years and years older and yet somehow just as much a spaz, Kevin has some incredibly cool agates in his house.

And my father. Well, my father only recently discovered the Allman Brothers, and that rocks, too.

Rocks: So simple. So quiet. Rocks are nature’s haikus, deceptively simple pieces of poetry; and so you can imagine how surprised I was to recently become aware of how they could lead one to a life of crime.


It wasn’t until the trip to the Pacific Northwest two years ago that I fell under the rock’s spell.

Have you seen the mountains? Have you seen the boulders, the colors and striations of the Rockies? The sun’s light, when it hits the rocks, makes you believe.

Believe what, you say? Why, believe whatever it is that makes you feel right.

So I took them. I took the rocks.

Willie was sure we would be arrested. I had 13 good-sized rocks in the back of the rental car on the way home, representatives of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.

“It’s illegal to take rocks,” he said.

“Oh, like they’re going to pull us over for having unlawful knowledge of extraneous rocks,” I countered.

Big Willie used them to line the flowerbed in the front yard.

Since then, I’ve come to find out that it really is illegal to take rocks from the Rockies.

When the police drive by, and invariably slow down, I go in the house.

Holy shit.

So why am I telling you all this?

So that I can tell you this: I almost did it again.


But you should’ve seen the rocks! Piles and piles of them, accent rock in the hotel’s parking lot and their little smoker’s park with its little smokers’ benches just outside of the parking lot… Large, respectable rocks right there, next to the smokers’ area…

For what are a couple of margaritas without a couple smokes?

That’s right. I bought a pack.

And I enjoyed it.

But I didn’t take them. I wanted to, but I didn’t.

The rocks, I mean.

Because I’m better than that.

And there were cameras.


Douglas said...

I suspect they implanted the rocks with GPS transponders, too. Beware the Rock Czar (to be appointed soon, I'm sure).

Eric said...

I love the rocks too. Especially colorful ones I can crunch down into pictures.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I'm a rock hound.

I've recently recovered from a day spent in a stream in the mountains, searching for minerals with my daughter. My right foot is still a little swollen from stepping on a stone hidden just beneath the water's surface. My left ankle is recovered nicely, though, after I smacked it with another large stone.

I'm somewhat certain that it's illegal ONLY if you claim jump someone's mine or if you're stealing dinosaur bones. If it's just a chunk of granite, they're cool with it.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

so the rocks made you turn to drink, eh?!
yes, I remember when our greatest joys were collecting seashells and bringing them home. apparent;y its illegal now!

Anonymous said...

Very often Pearl, you just rock my world!!

Under the Influence said...

I remember going out into the "country" as a kid to get rocks - big rocks - for my moms flower beds. Who knew we could have been arrested!

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

We used to collect all kinds of rocks when I was a kid. Shoulda kept em all . . . contraband, ya know.

Tamsin said...

I now have an incredibly nerdy urge to research the legal consequences of rock removal.

f8hasit said...

I too, have been known to conspire to take rocks. I hvae some small ones on my mantel from Ireland, Costa Rica, Hawaii and the likes. This turned into scouring construction sites for boulders for my yard. I covet big hunks. Of rock...
I'm sure there's a 12 step program out there for it.
Rock on!

Eric said...

I know it is illegal out of a mine or quarry. Yule, Colorado has the most incredible marble for carving in a mine owned now by Polycor. They won't let you even pick up the discarded pieces by the roadside :(
(Which I'm dying to get my hands on to transfer clay sculptures to)

@eloh said...

I too love rocks.

I knew a lady once that stole dirt from her travels.

I think rock theft makes more useful sense.

Madame DeFarge said...

Rocks are wonderful. We take many photos of rocks and then wonder why no one else finds them interesting. My husband has never forgiven his stepfather from throwing out his rock collection almost 25 years ago. The hurt runs deep.

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

From an Abenaki perspective, and many other Nations, Rocks are the oldest spirits on earth, with a lot of power and wisdom...

Many Nations refer to them as Grandfathers.

Who besides the highest power has seen more on this earth? Why shouldn't they attract you? why wouldn't you be attracted to them?

Anonymous said...

Rocks are free game in my book. I take them from everywhere I visit. Book me Danno...I double dog dare you!


troutay said...

I love rocks. I walk miles collecting agates.
If you are a real rock hound, you know the two best jokes to tell rock newbies:
1. If they ask you if what they found is an agate, you say "its a leverite". They will ask you what that is, and you say "leverite there".

2. Tell them it is a Minnesota sex stone. When they ask you what that is, tell them "its a f-ing rock".

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Cameras always f#ck stealing up! I'm a rock hound. I spent my Summers as a kid in MN. I have quit an agate and taconite collection. I sure hope it's not illegal! Maybe I should sell it on eBay quick!
Great post!


Eskimo Bob said...

We just tossed out Boy the second's rock collection that had become a solid wall against the bedroom window. He's out there again gathering and storing. . . oh rocks. I wanna rock




I wanna Rock



I want to Rock!

powdergirl said...

Whenever I see a beautiful mass of rock I am at first besotted, then I start to plan how to blow the shit out of it without killing anyone.
I blew apart a big wide seam of quartz once. One of the prettiest messes I ever made. I wanted to wear it.

Pop and Ice said...

I remember my husband having to go out in the dead of night, with my son, to find a suitable rock for some project that was due the next day. That was the last of our rock stealing expeditions and they were just blase local rocks. Nothing special at all.

DouglasDyer said...

You're a felon? A smoking felon? I suddenly find you irresistable. We'll have to tell the grandkids our wedding pictures were destroyed in a fire. They must never know our connubial bliss was made official by the prison pastor and consummated in the conjugal visit cell. But we have lots of time to figure out those details.

maureen said...

I love rocks too. Collect many kinds from heart-shaped to white to...pretty.
And I too, take them from everywhere I travel.
So far I have not been stopped in the airport...

Kristine said...

My son is 2.5 and always comes home from our walks with pebbles and stones literally overflowing from his pockets.

Looks like this is going to be the new underage drinking.

Suzy said...

You're not supposed to take lava from Hawaii because it's bad luck. So of course I took lava and a few years of seemingly weird ass luck, I trashed it.

Now I regret the whole thing.