A nice story from Pooh bear

I am not a Taoist by any means, and I do consider myself pretty darned satisfied…  But I do cut stones, so I like this parable from Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh !

More Is Not Enough

There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life. One day he passed a wealthy merchant’s house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge, towering rock. “How powerful that rock is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a rock!”

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the rock?” he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.

 

Enjoying Nature

It’s no secret that I love stones, rocks, natural structures and features in all their myriad presentations.  (Just read some of my earlier blogs).  This is one reason why…

Everything here where I call home is reproduce-able in my mind.  I know how the buildings are built, how the houses are made, how the streets and parking lots are laid down.  I have a pretty good idea how the cars are put together, how airplanes fly and even how all these people are made.  This is a place I know pretty well.  It’s ordered and logical (mostly) and utterly human made.  Most everything here has appeared within my lifetime, and if not, certainly within the span of human history.

Camping recently, I walked around looking down at the Earth and was brought back to nature and that feeling that I am lost in an overwhelming, complicated, mysterious, unknowable, ageless and incredible place in the universe that is beyond all human comprehension.

Then I looked up and saw a tree.  They’re pretty neat too.

 

2013 was a GREAT year!

It was the busiest year yet (shouldn’t they all be!) and I completed a lot of challenges I never even would have imagined in previous years.

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Custom Souvenir

The most fun I had all year was probably transforming a chunk of granite that came from building a Mormon temple in Uruguay into three brick shaped, polished, engraved and etched desktop souvenir mementos.

Also fun was pair of large polished granite benches with engraving on almost every surface and the bases they sit on! We’re not talking a simple phrase here and there- no, we are talking full bible scripture verses and poetry! Not just another stump of stone in a Phoenix cemetery, but a pretty place for visitors to sit and reflect and read.

Granite Memorial Benches in Phoenix Cemetery

Granite Memorial Benches in Phoenix Cemetery

Vehicle glass etching

Vehicle glass etching

Not to be left out was out first vehicle glass etching– the back glass of a vintage Firebird Trans-Am (like from Smokey and the Bandit) got festooned with the acronym of the owners favorite phrase (I’ll let you guess). Our client backed this classic right into our industrial studio!

Etched Glass Cake Plate

Etched Glass Cakeplate

Speaking of glass, I etched a cake plate for a customer’s gift, expecting the outcome to be exactly what I expected, but the finished piece really surprised me with its beauty.

Custom House Decor

Custom House Decor

A new line of ideas was added when a customer requested home name plaques for Christmas gifts- Our artist went to town sprucing up family names for entryway markers that really impress.

Of course, there was plenty of the standard flagstone, river rocks, moss rock, cantera (AKA canterra) address markers and a fair number of fund raising memorial brick jobs to round out the year. Here’s to another good year full of custom challenges! Ummmm like updating our website with more photos! www.strikingstone.com.

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Little engraved stone hearts made right here in Phoenix, Arizona

Striking Stone Hearts

Striking Stone’s engraved hearts

Sometimes it is the simplest things…

Engraved simple natural, unpolished stones – about one inch in diameter.

These are beings used as business cards, wedding favors, wedding thank you gifts, love stones, memory rocks to symbolize promises of the hearts… and so many other things.

Love,

Striking Stone’s design team.

Penguins huh?

Fishy birds, birdy fish, Tuxedo wearing wobblers that can’t fly, can’t breathe under water and live in perpetual cold…  No thank you!  But wait… what’s THISWhat is he doing?  Oh, now that is endearing to me!

Image credit National Geographic Society

These little guys impress prospective mates with pretty stones and go so far as to steal from each other.  In the rocky areas that they make their nests, they are undoubtedly experts in geology as evidenced by the common choices they make as well as the envy!

I am positive that if these cute little creatures had opposable thumbs, they would by now have invented the means with which to engrave their stones with personal messages that would make the girls swoon!

Take a hint from nature- find a beautiful little chunk of the planet you live on, personalize it and offer it to your potential mate to show her you are serious about building a shared nest.  You will stand above the rest!