Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Need My Own Personal Stonehenge

Perhaps it's the weather, the change in seasons, or the phase of the moon, but everyone in my life seems to be a bit, well, depressed.  We're all somewhat overwhelmed yet surprisingly nonplussed about it.  I thought maybe it was just me, or perhaps the planets were aligned in a bizarre pattern (something I don't ever think about until I can't find a reason for a puzzling situation).  I guess I need a couple of Druids and some really big rocks (and let's go ahead and throw in the Salisbury Plain 'cause I sure as hell would rather be there than here right now). Perhaps then, I will be able to find the cause of this rift in emotions.

Think about this for a second... Imagine being there right next to one of those enormous rocks (yes, I know it is no longer allowed.  That's why I said "imagine.")  Put your hand on the chilly, bumpy surface of the stone next to you.  The sun is about to come up and you are going to witness it rise above the Heel Stone in the distance and remarkably align itself with the center of the structure where you are now standing.

Can't be depressed watching that, can you?  It's a spiritual moment... a personal moment.  Yet, you are sharing it with others.  A bit like our modern day going to church except, at least for me, church is not as spiritual, nor as breathtaking, nor as communal.  I think spiritually, modern day man (for the most part) has forgotten how to be "moved."  Oh, sure, we're moved occasionally... but on a daily, weekly, even monthly basis? We are over stimulated by the digital world, underfed emotionally in our relationships, and all without a Stonehenge to gather and get back to the basics of life. How do we get there without giving up all that we as humans have acquired through the ages?  Or, is it a trade off?


phd in yogurtry said...

The Stonehenge (like) experience is closer than you think:

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

We don't have anything like Stonehenge in the Netherlands, so I can't even begin to imagine the experience, but I would love to be able to. The closest I come is going to the old Our Dear Lady Basilica and lighting a candle, even though I am a non believer, I think. There nay be a bit of a pagan hiding in me, though.

Madge said...

a) come to yoga with me


b) 23 ounces of beer at sticky fingers. i'm just sayin'

Louise said...

I think a lot of it IS a tradeoff. The "digital world" in massive doses can't be good for anyone. Now I'm not happy when my computer is broken, but it's not my life. The TV isn't the life of my kids. We don't even own a video game system. Too much of all that(or any kind of over-stimulation, actually) will make us bored and depressed with the quieter things. I think if Druids had video games, they wouldn't have shown up at Stonehenge! Or they would have because they had to, but then they would have been bored and thinking about what was next..

OR... what Madge said!!!

Stacie said...

phd- OMG! Love the blog and got caught up in it for and hour!

Finely- Some of the most spiritual moments I've had in my life were in European cathedrals and basilicas. I love them and feel inspired there.

Madge- I'm just sayin'---next week and I am not joking!

Louise- So many times i have threatened to remove my children from this society in America and go live on a sheep farm in Scotland or somewhere like that. No internet or cable tv or anything like that. Thank God my kids aren't really into video games. We bought my son a system and he rarely plays with it. I have never been so happy to have wasted money. But you're right. It is a trade off. We can't ignore the very good things that have come from our advancement.

therapydoc said...

Don't know. But I was just in Atlanta, and I gave you a shout out!

Victoria said...

Stacie! (Your new FB/old high-school friend here under my blogging name). I just meandered over here during my insomniac hours, and hell if you aren't talking about Stonehenge and medieval Cathedrals! As a scholar of the Middle Ages and Celtic culture I just had to add my two, or maybe four, cents...

Stonehenge is mind-blowing in its antiquity and construction, that is for sure. It was built in the late Neolithic--ie. the Stone Age...not the Bronze Age, not the Iron Age...the Stone Age, and thus no metal implements of any kind hewed those rocks, which were apparently *dragged* a couple hundred miles for the smaller inner stones (probably floated on rivers part of the way) to about 20 miles for the larger outer stones around 2000 BC. And a thousand years *before* that, another group of Stone Age people had already set this site apart by a trench and embankment that they apparently dug with tools of antler, bone, and wood. (and that's not even the earliest history of human construction and manipulation of the site.) The mind boggles.

By the time the Celtic tribes be-bopped through the Salisbury Plain from about 500 BC on, Stonehenge was already ancient, and no wonder they were assumed to be the work of gods, giants, and wizards. We still know so little about Stonehenge, but it seems like the more we learn, the more we should be impressed by not only the great effort (carried out by a local and even regional community) it took to prepare the site, assemble and construct the stone circle, but also the *mindfulness* behind it all: the thought and the planning from a micro to a macro level--the aligning of longitude and latitude, the plotting of the sunrise on the solstices exactly between stones and etc., not to mention the engineering to get it all done--for some Reason. That is some serious detailed analysis and big-picture thinking at a very early period of human civilization, and it's pretty humbling.

Cathedrals are another great example of *mindfulness* and detailed and complex community involvement in the service of some larger idea/l. The whole concept of the highest expression of cathedral design--gothic, was meant to capture, facilitate, and translate light as an expression of the supernatural and to provide a means to commune with it for even the most humble and uneducated peasant. The intent of the soaring and precise architecture was to both glorify something higher, and direct the imagination and attention of people toward that by drawing the eyes upward, making one feel small while still intimately connected to this larger 'something', and allowing the light (filtered through stained glass in this case) to reveal truths and concepts to the average person that he or she might not encounter in their everyday hardscrabble lives. A lot, I think, like Stonehenge.

So there you go, lecture over. And that was probably about 10 cents. Anyhoo, I went to the web-site posted by PhD and am friggin' amazed to discover that there is a Stonehenge replica not far from where I live in fact, we must have driven right by the road it is on the two times we went to Lost Maples State Park south of Kerrville. ROAD-TRIP!!!

And finally, I can't say much to assuage the existential angst, since I've got it in spades, but I do have to say that these days I'm actually finding myself emotionally fed by the digital world, in that it is allowing me to maintain and renew relationships which otherwise would wither away over the vast spaces I've accumulated between myself and friends and family. I have to be careful not to live my life entirely in this glowing box, and it's quite tempting to do so, since I'm not in a place I want to be right now, but I'm really glad to have it. On the other hand, I have to try to remain mindful of my life outside it too, and maybe even try to keep the digital world from becoming as mindless as it can easily become.

Stacie said...

WOW! Thanks for the info! That was fantastic. It makes me wish that I had studied history instead of engineering. BORING! I loved that classes but hate the work..oh well, guess that means more school! YIPEEE!

Oh My Goddess said...


Where is your followers button???