The Nature of Rock

I don’t know if I can explain this.

When the bidding reached $20,000 yesterday, I felt a tectonic shift in my perspective. Months of blogging, Facebooking, interviewing, and talking about the ring finally started to culminate, and I began to feel confident that The Ring Project was going to work. My cold feet began to warm. I felt less afraid and more sure.

This is it: my own chapter with the diamond is winding down. But this story started long before I had the privilege of inheriting this ring– and well before my grandfather slid it on to my grandmother’s finger. It started a billion years ago, 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface, when tremendous heat forged carbon into a diamond that rode to the surface by way of an underground volcano. I realized that the effects of this process, which happened so long ago, are reverberating right here and now.

Sometimes, browsing the red layered rock of southern Utah, I have sensed my place in the scale of geologic time. It’s usually a daunting and marvelous sensation: I span my arms across some slot canyon and brush my fingers across epochs–the Paleozoic, the Cretaceous. It’s no doubt beautiful.  But it’s also disconcerting.  The red edifice of pulverized bone and fossil seems so impervious to my own human heart, my tiny life. The rock could care less if I’m a success or not a success, if I fall in love or don’t, if my family is close or not close. And I realize that whatever I accomplish will be buried.

It’s hard to explain, but in this past day, I’ve felt a sudden intimacy with these ancient processes. Like what happened a long time ago is not just locked up in rock that sits inert and indifferent, like a towering hoodoo in the desert. Like what happened then is now breathing, flowing, and mattering. Time, I realized, doesn’t merely transform life into rock. It also works in the opposite way: rock can also turn into life. In this case, into birds and children.

With this ring, someone will save some vultures, send some kids to school—small salvations in the realm of geologic time. But what we do reverberates. Maybe even a billion years later.

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4 Responses to “The Nature of Rock”

  1. subhash Says:

    Christina,
    Such a powerful story! You are an inspiration for all of us. Your selflessness makes me move further with my works in Nepal.

    Subhash

  2. Cindy Says:

    Powerful realizations, Christina! We are all connected in the energy, in the atoms, in the deep feelings we all share. And we all rise in our passions as you are doing so amazingly with the ring project. I feel so proud and honored to know you and to see you unfold your inner wisdom and beauty.
    Love. Cindy

  3. Scott Mason Says:

    Christina, your words leave me, well… speechless!

    I hope you dream a thousand dreams of all the greatness that will come from your one altruistic act of generosity.

    Bravo!

  4. nell Says:

    congrats 🙂 heard you on wpr a few weeks ago and have been following since. I’m so excited your successs has been won!!

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