Monday, September 17, 2012

Is that a rock on your desk or a dead potato?

Click on rock for a close-up.

Anonymous said...
So, is that a rock next to the keyboard or a really old potato?

In the previous post, about pie, I took a photo of the pie and in the left-hand side was a rock that I use as a paperweight, or a Pet Rock as the case may be. It's funny that anyone would ask about the rock. It is also characteristic of a natural born seeker. Did anybody else notice the rock on my desk?

My whole life I have spent noticing the things around me, I have an insatiable curiosity. I can't walk down a river bar without trying to find the prettiest rock. I start off by limiting myself to collecting three rocks. After I have collected three rocks I have to throw one away to collect another prettier one. Usually I find more than three pretty rocks and I can't stand having to throw away a pretty rock to save another. So.... I revert to "Ernie's Rules". When I don't like a rule, or I resent that a rule would apply to me, I change it. Simple huh? Wouldn't it be nice if all of life's rules could be so simple. So my silly rule changes from three pretty rocks to four... or five... or six. Soon the whole rule seems to be silly, so I change the rule to all that I can pack. As it turns out the all that I can pack rule has it's own built-in limits.

At some point, I have to impose limits on myself, or I try to make bargains with my wife to help pack some rocks for me, but she by then, has her own pretty rock collections... that she would like me to help her pack. I would be wise to not ask her for help, because then she feels free to ask me for help. She has far better bargaining abilities than I have. She is usually able to convince me that HER collection is far prettier, and therefore far more valuable than my rocks. My rocks usually end up back on the river bar to await the next seeker of pretty rocks. Sometimes I stash them with a plan to return for them later.

Now, back to the rock on my desk. I found it on the main Eel River. It is six inches tall, eight inches wide, and three inches front to back. That, of course depends on which side is chosen as the bottom. It has two fairly flat sides, and it will stand on the narrow end as it is shown, or lay flat. Both positions are stable, no wobble. I like stability in my life, so the rock is somewhat symbolic of me in that respect. 

The rock first attracted me because of it's pretty, and varied coloration. I used the pretty rock test that every pretty rock collector uses, I dipped it in water. The colors popped out. The colors vary from rose to deep red, yellow to gold, with many spots of blue black and green. The white streaks and spots are quartz. I was drawn to polish it for a desk decoration and paperweight. As I tried to polish it, it soon became apparent that there was a significant amount of quartz in it. The quartz is grainy, and it simply won't take a polish. I thought about coating it with a shiny epoxy polish but decided that was just plain unnatural. So I left it as you see it. To me, I know that it is beautiful just the way that it is. I still see it as I did when I dipped it in the cool clear waters of the Eel River.

I found the rock more than twenty years ago while on an outing with my wife. We were walking on the river bar at Fort Seward, down by the railroad tracks. The rocks that she found were by far prettier than mine (She reasoned) so I packed her rocks back to the truck. But, something forced me to keep this rock. It's been on my desk since then.

I have grown quite fond of the rock and I even find the thought of parting with it as unreasonable. The rock is a lot like me. Varied, but refuses to take polish.


Anonymous said...

That would be me that asked about the rock Ernie, forgot to sign my name.
I gather that it gets pretty windy around your desk to have such a big paper weight:)


Ernie Branscomb said...

Wow! I just got to be vister number 480,000!

Anonymous said...

I see that the local Redway Volunteer Fire Department is throwing a retirement party for Ernie on Saturday Sept. 22nd from 4 til 9pm. with a band and everything.
I will be sure to attend.

See y'all there.

Anonymous said...

As a child I found an interesting rock along the mainstem Eel. It was around the size of a youth basketball and had what looked to be a bone through it. I took it to Buz Chapman at Chapman's Gem and Mineral to identify. He told me it was in his opinion a whale bone and that it had probably washed out of one of the creeks between Scotia and Fortuna. He asked if I wanted to have it put in his museum in the back of the store which I agreed to. For my donation he treated me to some candy bars and a coke :)