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Rock On, Rock ON!

Rock Balancing Community

Saturday, September 8, 2018 11am-2pm
Where it all began, at Crissy Field, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Human beings have been picking up rocks for a very long time. Some have used them to build absolutely stable pyramids designed to conquer time. Others would be tempted to balance a rock on the top of that pyramid, knowing that chance, a brisk wind, a slight earth tremor, or even an experimental poke by an incredulous observer will topple it over.

Cairns and other rock piles have globally been used to mark a path, a place, or an event, with later visitors adding (or removing) stones as time passes. They are meant to last, as long as they carry useful meaning.

Yet even the "balancing rocks" of the untouched landscape, perched in unlikely configurations, are merely frozen in their travel towards sand and sea. We know they could fall, should fall, will fall, in the fullness of time.

Balancing is play and it is work. It is dance and, for some, it is prayer. Human beings stand upright against gravity; balancing on slender legs; toppling over in the controlled forward fall called walking.

And then, of course, there is beauty in this craft. Each rock in a balanced sculpture becomes perfect in its placement, its center of mass and gravity either directly above that of the one below it, or intricately interacting with others to share a mutual center, much as the Earth and moon orbit around a point somewhere between them.

"To see the world in a grain of sand" -- balancing all of life on the tip of a stone.