Project by Nonporous
Edition of 10 Stones
Sourced & Engraved in Vermont, US, 2019
A VOID AND A STONE, A STONE AND A VOID.
I SEARCH FOR THIS VOID AND FIND IT NOWHERE, I'M LOOKING FOR THIS NOWHERE AND FIND IT EVERYWHERE.
BUT SLOWLY I FEEL THAT THE STONE IS NO LESS FREE.
I have a little VOID stone, a kind of triangle, about 10 inches long, 5 inches or so high and 3 inches thick, that sits on my desk and that I look at as I write. I discover that it's very effective in clearing most of the thoughts that I am trying to form.
That's a bit of a problem, but not an unpleasant problem at all. It seems to put me in the position where I am. My interaction with this stone brings me to certain thoughts, but it also makes me realize that I feel how unimportant they are. The VOID-stone itself, however, does not seem to me to be unimportant.
Most of us think more than we like, we move the words back and forth in our heads more than it serves a purpose that we can in principle endorse, or that really makes us fun, or gives us real rest, some real understanding, or any real meaning of life.
Now I've come to my meaning of life from my 'VOID-stone', which can be considered as an approach to the heart of things, as each and every one of us is a completion of that work. You in your time and in your room, me in my time and in my room.
A VOID-stone in a void would not make much sense after all.
The word "void" can be either a noun, an adjective, or a verb form (an imperative if alone), and in George Brecht's VOID stones it appears as all three simultaneously. The word is carved into a boulder. George Brecht chose this stone - and judging from the photographs, it's a very pretty stone against a very pretty background - just as he chose the word, but the real stonework was done by someone else.
One of the things I like about this VOID-stone is its patience. He seems to sit and wait for me; to wait for my thoughts and feelings to clear up; or to tell somehow that I myself can wait for my thoughts and feelings to clear up. He brings me to kinder, more tolerant terms for my ignorance, and somehow makes me less forgiving of my tendency to deny my ignorance.
I look at my VOID-stone and read the word, and it's just a sound: an imaginary sound in the inner ear that carries with it a vague idea of emptiness that is in no way amplified, clarified, circumscribed, focused, or toned anything I can say about grammar. I discover that I am incapable of elevating this blurred sense of emptiness into any consistent statement that might address the primary emptiness or final emptiness or omnipresent emptiness.
This is something that I know absolutely nothing, something that is beyond my experience, too great for my intuitive comprehension. The sturdiness of the stone - its color, its shape, its size, its coolness, the way it feels when I touch it - underlines my inability to say anything about its opposite. It's almost as if I myself was this earthbound stone.
A void and a stone, a stone and a void. I search for this void and find it nowhere, I'm looking for this nowhere and find it everywhere. But slowly I feel that the stone is no less free.
I can imagine a lot of uses for a rock, a lot of things that you or I or anyone else can do with a rock, I could study the geological processes that led to its formation, or I could analyze its chemical properties , or its physical and finally atomic and then subatomic properties, and the story would be endless, and I still would not have told anyone what is most essential about it.
I trace it back to the moment when I imagine or suppose or imply that it differs from the void or turns out to be coherent with emptiness, but this moment never seems to occur. Wherever I carry this stone, it returns all the more inexplicably. Nothing that I can do with It makes his pure existence less inexplicable.
I search for the reason for its existence and find it right where I find the void - nowhere. Philosophers and cosmologists know that such perceptions confuse them. Mystics know that they find it stimulating.
Henry Martin - 1987