Saturday, April 5, 2008

stacking stones

Sometime after February 22 (the day of the memorial for Ken), I noticed a small cairn or stack of stones balanced on the retaining wall along the driveway into the college's parking garage. The cairn has perhaps six or seven stones ranging from perhaps 10" to about 3" perfectly balanced. It has remained there, undisturbed for weeks.

I was reminded immediately of the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of "Stones for Ibarra" (Glenn Close and Keith Carradine), set in a tiny Mexican village, where the villagers stacked stones for commemoration.

The idea of stacking stones for memory/remembrance appears to be common to a variety of cultures. At the end of the film "Schindler's List" the survivors and their families, file past Schindler's grave in Israel and deposit stones.

I do not know why the small cairn was created on the retaining wall or who created it. Perhaps some one was just looking for a convenient place to put stones that had fallen in the drive way. Perhaps, a student, bored between classes used it as a way to pass some idle time. But I like to imagine that some one put it there on purpose. Because it appeared shortly after Ken's death, I imagine it as a tiny memorial to him.

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