The Stone Bearer

While roaming the roads of life, the man of middle-age reached a
stubborn standstill when he encountered a rapid stream. Not able to
amble forward and no other way around, he was unsure of what to do —
for he carried with him upon his back a sack laden with the myriad
stones and rock that he had throughout his journey amassed.

From a very early age and ever on, wherever he went and
whatever he did, the man added ever more to his pack —
some as wee as bits of sand, others as large as the whole of a man.
In time, his bag of fleck and flint filled fuller than full and
was as heavy as the house he had left so long ago.

To the folks that he’d meet in the towns on the streets where he proudly
passed, he became known as The Stone Bearer. For so long had it been that
he was christened as such, that he, too, came to know himself solely in this sense.
And over the scores of years since he pecked his first pebble, the title and
the role with which it entailed would come to define his very existence.

And so it was here, at this time and this place that he was unwittingly impelled
to contemplate his fate. How could he cross the impeding stream and be on his way, while lugging his stony load? The Stone Bearer considered this way and that, backward and front, yet forever concluded the same — He had no choice but to maintain his
course in the only manner mattering to him, with his burden upon his back.

Haltingly he lurched into the formidable flow, each footstep falling further
than the first. He sank in past his knees and hips, chest and chin, submerging
beyond his crown, his bale ever more anchoring him down. Holding fast to the
sack surely would he drown, so in an act of desperate dissolution, he released
his grip and off it slid, the rocks slipping onto stream bed aground.

One by one, the tumbling stones left him ever more light until he at last floated freely to the surface. Making his way to the other side, he stood easily upright, the first he had done so in years. Weightless, he felt, transparent even. He turned and peered to where his stockpile had spilled — strewn about in the current were all the rocks and stones that had once determined his past, and had compelled his foreseen future.

Original painting by Jason Weaver 2017

It was perfectly clear for him to see, that what had initially provided him purpose had eventually oppressed his progress. He realized that no longer could he carry the burden of expectation, to adhere to the limits of prescribed self-imposed concept. Indeed, he had no need to be the stone bearer any more.  “It is time to leave them behind,” he allowed to himself aloud, to the only one that could truly let it be so.

From that moment forth, he would just go, and be, and do — not disappointed by what he had lost (for he would collect no more rocks!) but stronger and wiser for the lesson he learned. In shouldering the weight of those rocks, he now had the fortitude for the travels ahead. And as for the rocks and stones themselves, they would remain forever where they toppled, a testament to the beauty of learning to live, and living to learn.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

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O Rio Paquequer

O Rio Paquequer by Jason Weaver

O Rio Paquequer (2014) — original acrylic painting by Jason Weaver

Let us
drink
the clear stream
of wellsprung purity,
and breathe
with lungs of leaves
a conscious continuity;
Let us
lie down
in a rocky seam
an earthen process,
and be
this perpetual
moment of progress.

by Jason Weaver (2014)
Original painting by Jason Weaver, O Rio Paquequer (2014), acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 100cm.

The scene depicted in this painting is of the Paquequer River, the principal river in Teresópolis, Brazil, where it begins high in the forest of the Serra dos Órgãos mountains before flowing north. Working from a photo I had taken, I aimed to capture the timeless continuation of the river just downstream from the Cecy and Pery Waterfall, so named for two main characters in the Brazilian novel, O Guaraní , written in 1857 by José de Alencar.  The title is derived from the name of an indigenous indian tribe whose territorial region once included the surrounding area of Rio de Janeiro, including Teresópolis . The novel is a romantic adventure whose hero, Pery, a Guaraní indian, deserts his tribal family so that he may forever be with his blonde-haired, blue-eyed mistress, Cecília, or Cecy as he calls her. It was the majestic beauty of the river Paquequer that inspired Alencar to write his famous novel, and in turn inspired me as well; here, translated into English by James W. Hawes in 1893, are the opening words of O Guaraní:

FROM one of the summits of the Organ Mountains glides a small stream, which flows northerly, and enlarged by the springs which it receives in its course of ten leagues, becomes a considerable river. It is the Paquequer. Leaping from cascade to cascade, winding like a serpent, it dozes at last in the plain, and empties into the Parahyba, which rolls majestically in its vast bed. Vassal and tributary of that king of waters, the little river, haughty and overbearing to its rocks, bows humbly at the feet of its sovereign. It loses then its wild beauty; its waves are calm and peaceful as those of a lake […] It is not at this point that it should be seen, but three or four leagues above its mouth, where it is still free. There the Paquequer rushes rapidly over its bed, and traverses the forests foaming and filling the solitude with the noise of its career.

 

Element

Pedras Agua e Luz by Jason Weaver LoveMore Studio

Reduced to dust
from whence we came
I dissolve within the
elemental stream and
quietly settle in between
sun and earth and stone
never more
to be alone.

by Jason Weaver, 2014

Original painting acrylic on canvas Pedras, Agua e Luz (2014) 70cmx120cm by Jason Weaver

as I see it…

no
tippy-toe-ing
no more
to and fro-ing
no doubt will keep me
second guessing
deeply messing with my
mind
no
not this time

I go in
head
prime

As I See It

Author’s Note: Poetic response to a fun, semaphoric (140 character) riddle prompt by Samuel Peralta tonight at Dverse poetry pub– check it out!
Update:  The photograph above is rotated 180º to show the water as it would look if one dove in head first– like in the words above, “as I see it…” diving into LIFE without further ado. ~peace, Jason

Of Water

Rockwater_LoveMoreStudio

Today, she wakes
by the pale blue light of morn,
tired, and frail, and worn to the bone.

This day,
as she does all of her days now,
she will set foot to the hills,
her silver hair put in a scarf of silk,
and bearing the wounds of her years
in an old and rusted pail made of tin
that digs into the
thin of her weary hands.

She will walk to a spot by the stream
where the waters run
silent, and clean, and still.
It is here, in a spill of sun
that she will lift and pour
from her bucket of sorrow,
her soul in a wash of shallows,
knowing that tomorrow
there will be ever more.

by Jason Weaver, 2013

Thanks to Dverse Poet’s Pub for the inspiration, written in response to poetry prompt “body of water.” Come link up or check out what others are writing! ~peace,  Jason