For the Love of Rocks
For all rock lovers who love to contemplate about our place in the great web of existence and life.
Turning my head around
I ask the pair of rocks
“Can you keep company
with an old man like myself?”
Although the rocks cannot speak
that we will be three friends.
After Bai Juyi, aesthetic meditations on the beauty of rock formations became highly popular and quickly refined into “four principal criteria,” writes the Metropolitan Museum of Art: “thinness (shou), openness (tou), perforations (lou), and wrinkling (zhou).” The found artifacts are often known as “scholar’s rocks”—a mistranslation, de Botton says, of a term meaning “spirit stones”—and are chosen for their natural wildness, as well as shaped by human hands. They were placed in gardens and studies, and “became a favorite and enduring pictorial genre.” During the early Song dynasty, such stones were “constant sources of inspiration,” and were “valued quite as highly as any painting or calligraphic scroll.” via Open Culture