“impermanence”… and resilience

I began construction of this riverbank mosaic in July 2020. I called it “impermanence”, with the expectation that its stones would shift in the rain, under the hoofs of deer, or under the boots of fly-fishers. My intention was to watch its changes over time; to record “impermanence” in nature as a way of visualising the transitions of my own life during a time of global change. (You can read more about my design rational in my previous post, “impermanence”.)

Over time, however, “impermanence” has demonstrated a surprising resilience.

In late August, I revisited the bank to see what had changed in a month. The answer: nothing! So I added a ring of stones.

Two days later, I returned to add to the coloured gravel backgrounds and take more photos. Only when I was about to leave did I stand back and notice the band of square stones that a visitor had added to one side.

My return journey in September revealed only minute changes; tiny stones shifted perhaps by deer hooves.

Over time, my contemplative exercise on change has led to reflection on resiliance and hope. That these tiny pebbles on a beach would resist and rest secure, that small shifts and jiggles would add to the charm of the image, that visitors would protect and care for the installation–these are, for me, signs of hope.

To mark the hopeful possibility of resilience in impermanence, I planted the mandala, giving it leaves and stem.

Winter will come, the waters will rise, the stones will shift. And spring will return. ~ Jane