What I found on my way back…

… is lying in a bucket in the sink. Twenty minutes earlier I’m riding my bicycle, slightly stoned on a large road intersecting the street on which I live. As I go toward the large intersection with the intuitively readable but impressively manifold lights, I see it on the street right in front of me. I veer away in order to not crash, and it remains still right there on the ground, as if not registering me at all. My pulse races faster than I could on my single speed mountain bike.

During the next fifteen meters film clips play back in my mind. One is of a boy riding his bicycle crashing straight into it. His bike flips almost over and he lands with the part of his skull that sits right ear against the sharp jagged curb of the sidewalk. His eyes are closed, it’s midday and clouded. He just lies there, his arms and legs at odd yet unbroken angles. He doesn’t breathe. Then a couple goes by late at night. She’s pregnant and they ride very close, almost bumping elbows facing each other smiling and laughing. Maybe they are enjoying the last part of their time together as just two. Her bikes front wheel hits it right on its side and her bike takes a quick turn and she bumps into him, and they swerve. They laugh while doing this, nothing seems truly at risk, and then I hear the startlingly loud noise of an annoyed truck driver. It causes the man to stiffen up at a bad moment and he trips and falls straight in front of the truck and gets caught under its wheels. She screams and her bicycle waves but she manages to stop, but buckles to her knees crying. Then two friends riding home through the night, they part at the street just before but the other continues. He smiles up at the empty cloudless night and then he hits it, and is sent flying… Two mothers with children in seats on the backs of their bicycles… And the images keep coming.

I’m standing on the corner of the intersection now. Just waiting for the images to stop. I turn my bicycle around, and ride back to where I saw it. It’s still there of course, and I kneel down to pick it up. Then I open my bag and put it in, knowing I will most likely keep it with many of my other strange artefacts. As I get home I take it out, and I decide to give it a little bath. Maybe care a little for this thing, that by no will of its own could have performed all those horrible deeds. Now instead, with a little love and care, it may live to do some good.

We all came from fire, rocks, air and water. This is the truth. This planet was once just a lot of minerals, a lot of heat, some air and a lot of water. It combined in strange ways, and now it talks. But when it talks sometimes it forgets to be there with the rocks, dance with the wind, sing with the water and glow with the fire. So when we meet our ancient mothers and fathers out there, in the shapes of all that was here before us, we may look and say: There is my family. Here on the road I found an old father, lying there, remembering times long before anything we call life was present. As I went by him he saw that part of that was also rock, and cried out to me that I should not let him do these horrible things. So instead I took him home, and here I he is. I’ve named him after a dear friend of mine. One who has shaken my hand, taught me what salsa is, opened his door and shared his beetroot juice and his dance partner with me. I name this rock Bob. Bob who has lived before us and who will live after us.

Bob, the rock