copyright Hannah Phelps
On the Shelf
6" x 6", oil on canvas
When most people use the expression “like a rock”, they mean something solid, permanent, unflappable. To most eyes, rocks don’t seem to change at all. Especially when we watch huge waves slam into them during a nor’easter or a hurricane. After the storm is done and the skies have cleared, the rocks are still there. And we are happy to see that - that amidst temporary madness, something has held fast and survived.
The constancy of rocks comforts me too. Every summer as a young kid, I could return to the completely familiar tapestry of rocks and tide pools, marsh grasses and sand bars in Rye, NH.
But I wasn’t that old when I realized that, while most rocks did remain at their stations over the winter, some did not. Huge boulders would be flipped 180 degrees, others would be yards away from their normal spots and still more would have disappeared altogether. Soon, the very first thing I would do when we arrived at “the beach” would be to run across the street to discover what had changed in my absence.
Becoming “like a rock” is staying put only most of the time. It means sometimes feeling a bit pushed around. It can even mean total upheaval at times.
When you find yourself upside down or leagues away from where you expected to be, just make sure to be the same rock you were before the storm hit.
This painting will be displayed at the Precious Exhibit at Soo Rye Art Gallery in Rye, NH beginning November 13, 2010!