Saturday, February 24, 2007

Breaking the rules~


The bright sun and blue sky beckoned me to the beach. Despite temperatures only in the twenties, I grabbed my camera, hopped in my truck, and headed east.

Between looking for good pictures, I wanted to find a certain kind of beach stone that I'd taken a liking to. I'd brought home a small pile last spring after walking the beach with some friends.

I'd picked up a smooth pink stone banded round its center with a stripe of white quartz. "I love this," I'd said, and during our walk my friends stuffed striped stones in my pockets.

I'd returned home to a husband who didn't share my excitement.

"Look at these!" I said.

"Rocks with stripes." It was a flat statement.

"But don't you think they're kind of cool? This is going to be my next collection. Look at this one." I like emotion in my conversations. Bruce gives "just the facts, M' am."

"Are we going to have these all over the house now?" he asks in an aggrieved tone, as If I *have* "things all over the house."

"Why would I put rocks "all over the house?" I ask. In a huff, I take my rocks and arrange them in a basket on my desk. I really like them, but every time I look at them I remember Bruce's reaction.

Today in addition to twenty pictures of a wintry beach, I came home with eight stones.

Choosing them was hard. At first I pocketed any stone with a stripe. I filled the pockets of my ski jacket with icy stones.

Then I set a standard for my picks: small enough to be cupped in my palm, the stripe had to circumscribe the rock, and it had to be more that a pencil line wide. I dumped some back onto the beach. Then I gave myself permission to break my own guidelines. Some rule breakers were best of all, like the big one I found when I'd stopped looking.

Some rules were made to break. Especially my own.

1 comment:

Sarah Morgan said...

Hi Ruth- What a lovely blog site. I followed you here from your 'writing time' post. I thoroughly enjoyed your posts here, particularly the one about the house fire. The muse piece was nice as well. I do the same as you, repeating the message before I fall back asleep.