Imagining, Balancing and Letting Go

A few months ago Kate & I had a Sunday off and I had an itch to go on a Hill Country day trip. I didn’t have any idea where we’d go, so I Googled for happenings in the towns to our west. There was something out in Llano that sounded interesting if not kinda hippie-dippy;  “World Rock Stacking Championships at Llano Earth Fest.”  Probably not something we’d plan in advance, but a hippie festival might be a good spur of the moment guilty pleasure. As we headed out on the beautiful drive up 71 past Pedernales State Park we were amazed at the amount of development stretching beyond Spicewood. Thankfully that tapered off around Horseshoe Bay. We had passed through Llano but had never stopped there before.  

The first things we saw after parking the car were a row of classic 1960’s VW vans and lots of tie dye, peace signs & ponytails. Then we walked down towards the river and saw them--big & small stacks of rocks balanced in precarious ways that defied nature. It was stunning. People had come from all over the world to artfully, expertly play with gravity. There were all sorts of whimsical sculptures in every shape and size woven around the Llano River. We strolled around the stones, and the stoned, noticing that in between all of the ‘professional’ stone structures, visitors were stacking as well and many of those were exquisite too. I started stacking by the riverbank. It was only when I started that I understood: this was a mind-clearing geological stack habit in the making. Carefully choosing each stone by its weight, shape and texture, sculptures appeared as I envisioned them. The creative flow caught me off-guard in a really good way.

After we had our fill of meandering through the balance garden we stopped at the town square, got some lunch and headed home. It was twilight when we pulled up to the house. I went straight for the backyard to start stacking. I’ve been addicted ever since. These creations are an ephemeral phenomenon—it’s okay when they tumble in the process. Imagining, balancing and letting go is what it’s all about.