Sunday, February 18, 2007


One of my favorite books is "Hour of the Octopus" by Joel Rosenberg. The hero of the story is part of a troupe of acrobats that travel around performing for their keep. They don't have a wagon or any horses so they walk everywhere with their belongings on their backs. Before beginning a trip the hero finds himself what he calls a freden, a throw weight. It's a small rock, not too small, not too big. Then, when his pack is too heavy and the road too long he can pour all his exhaustion and pain into the rock and toss it away. This makes him feel lighter, able to continue. Though I do not travel the road I think I could apply this method to my life.

Then recently I heard a new use for a small stone. You stick it in your pocket or your bag and then whenever you happen to touch it, you think of something to be grateful for. A gratitude rock.

Perhaps one could combine these two ideas. You use the stone to remind you of the great things in your life and then when that is not enough you pour all of your frustration and anger and pain into the rock and toss it away. I'm going to see how it works. I'll let you know.

1 comment:

Epiphany Alone said...

I like this idea. It would need to be substantial enough though that purging it would feel significant.

One of the Jewish traditions I like happens between Rosh Hashana (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) when one casts one's sins upon the water. That is, you release them and then are free of their burden as you come into the New Year.