The paradox of a stone seeker

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All journal-items with the title ‘Crystal woods’ form a whole. During 2017 until end 2019 I focused my research for nature and life-energy on seven woods in a range of 10 km around my living place Schinveld. In Crystal woods — Introduction one can find global information about this project.

Golf course dream

June 29, 2017: Since several nights I wake up remembering the same dream: I’m on a golf course knowing that my requirement is outdated, I need new material to play golf. You must know that golf courses always evoked an enormous aversion in me; after all the building of these courses is at the expense of a richer ecosystem. But there is another playful meaning hidden in this dream: golf courses symbolise relaxation and looking while enjoying. Looking is my tool as an artist - and I always need to do something with all I see. I presume this dream points to the pleasure of seeing without wanting to do something with it. Since that time I practise doing-not, or at least doing-less.

I have searched and found enough places of power, I found enough stones. It’s time to allow myself to become lighter again. When I walk I walk here, when I sit I sit here, when I look I look here, without wanting to search there.

August 21, 2020
The source of the Red Brook on the Brunssummer heather in between of the earth cracks called Feldbiss is coloured green, the Brandenberg violet

A lofty place

October 10, 2017: Today I walk underneath sun drenched autumn trees to the hill that rises up above the golf course Brunssummer heather, called Brandenberg. There must be a connection between this golf course and the dream I dreamed in June. It has been a long time that I visited this hill, and I notice that today I look at it with a different mind than I used to do: I’m not annoyed with the rigid mowed green and I enjoy all I notice. When I walk from the golf course up to the open heathland it feels as if I enter a very different space, as a lofty place, that is elevated above the surrounding landscape on a literally as well as a metaphorical way.

‘Island’, egg tempera, collage on cardboard, 25×35 cm, 1986

An archaic island

I’m surprised over the hardly disrupted character of this small, unharmed plateau, this archaic island and precious relict, since it is located amid an industrial landscape in which almost every inch has been dig out for lignite, coal, sand and gravel. Other disruptions are a motorway at the southwest side, the Rimburger road at the north side, while the other sides are limited by a golf course, a deep sand pit, and both a former and current dumping ground.

On the first hill head I find a White-place

White-place

At the edge of the Brandenberg I’m welcomed by a group of oaks. A sense of connection makes me stay longer while I slowly take in the different shapes of the oaks. (When I and my partner visit the Brandenberg once more in December we identify this location as a Place of elementals.) Then I walk slowly upwards to the first hill head, that evokes a wide feeling of open space, not just because of the free view to the west, the lower golf course and a part of the distant skyline of Brunssum, but also because of the life-energetic quality of this White-place.

I’m happy as a child when I find a stone with a hole in it, also called ‘hag stone’ or ‘Hühnergott’

While sitting against the trunk of an oak I hear how the rustling of the wind merges with the noise of the nearby motorways. This place draws my attention downwards and to the inside, a Black-place. After that I walk to the six oaks that are spread over the upper side of the slope. Under the first one I find a flint with a hole in it. Finding such a stone feels as becoming a gift of the place. Here is the Red-place that forms a small triangle together with the White and the Black-place on the head of the hill.

Oak on Michael-place

When I walk further over the heathland two separated oaks draw my attention. At the first one I guess that it grows on a Solar-place (S). The second one is standing in the middle of the second hill head (2). I walk around the trunk a few times, and let me embrace by its lower branches. Where the trunk branches off there’s a bowl in which I can sit down. I feel taken up by the soft but powerful flow of a new Michael-place. At its foot among the pebbles I find a small stone with two smooth, slightly curved sides, maybe a polishing stone?

Oak on Black-place on hill head 3

Black-place

While wandering over the hill heads I’m alone on the Brandenberg. On the third and highest hill head a squat oak with a lot of bristly twigs immediately attracts attention, a Black-place. I find it remarkable how the White, Black and the Michael-place (4) correspond with the three hill heads. I return at home via the Teverener heather and the old forest called Devils Wood, that is also isolated by a deep quarry. In the dusk I pass some capricious oaks. That night I feel the warmth and vibrations of the Michael-place for hours.

I implemented a flint axe from the Brandenberg in a painting; Michelsberg culture 4400 – 3500 BC

December 16, 2017: On a bleak and windy Saturday my partner and I set foot on the Brandenberg to become an overall picture of the sacred-geometrical language of this area at last. Once again there is that surprising feeling of entering another space, more timeless and silent than its vicinity. When we walk upon the path at the east side of the Brandenberg a flat stone (1) catches our eye at the same time. I’m surprised by the smooth surface of one side. Maybe it is used to buff objects of clay?

Fir tree growing on Black Maria-place

Place of connection

We follow the path heading south until we reach a row of trees, that seem to limit the sacred area. At the end of this row a bunch of trees draws my attention. The dowsing rod points at a Red-place, and then to a fir tree with strongly curved branches - a Black Mary-place. Some tens of metres further on I notice the distinct oak with the low crown in which I sat down. There Lidy sees the moving, radiating orange from where all male and female frequenties of the diverse places of power merge — the Place of connection reconciling all polarities. At last we also find a Cosmic mother-place (5).

Map of Brandenberg-triangle. The crosses indicate the find-place of the stones. Notice how the life-energetic places correspond with the hill heads

Back home I connect the three angular points of the White, Red, and Black-place on a detailled topographic map. And when I connect the Cosmic mother-place (5) with the White-place (1) and the Place of connection (4) I see an equilateral triangle. Once more I experience the clear beauty of this flower-of-life-geometry as a gift that deepens my connection with the universal landscape, via the local landscape.

Dream of a stone searcher; detail of ‘Self-portrait with stone and book’, egg tempera on wood, 1984

Workshop

June 7, 2018: It is on a sweltering warm day as a friend drives me to the golf course. From there we walk up to the Brandenberg. No one here, we’re alone. My friend is surprised by the serene rest the Brandenberg emanates in this crowded environment. This time my attention is drawn by a long, dry ditch, that stops at a small hill near the top of the slope. Beside the hill there is a concentration of stones. Soon a distinct stone attracts my attention, with a dark grey patine and a circular, slightly hollowed downside. Then I find three more stones (3) that are probably used for the pounding of herbs. I wonder if somebody has been buried here, next to her workshop, together with her stone tools?

That night I hear the penetrating deep tone of the Brandenberg singing in my left ear, while I ask myself the question: why is my gaze so often falls on rubbing and polishing stones?

The presumptive stone tools I found on the Brandenberg

October 23, 2019: It is a soft autumn day when I walk through the Schinveld forest and Teverener heather to the Brandenberg once again. It is two years ago that I started the walks to the places I denominated as ‘Kristalbos’. My velocity is a bit slower and my walk less supple. This time I walk straight to the oak on the new Michael-place.

oak on new Michael-place, Brandenberg; tempera on board, 40×50 cm, October 2018

I forget about time sitting in the trunk that branches off low. The rustle and humming in the surrounding distance disappears to the background when a field of soft green (light green merging with rose) with dark rose thereunder - and for a short moment a round purple strip in between - appears in front of my closed eyes. How would it be for a human being to live and stay only on one place just like a tree does? I realise that my radius of action, unless all my walking and travelling, is not larger than the reach of my mind, and of my connection with all life that surrounds me. After that I enjoy the coffee in the golf course restaurant, everybody wishes me friendly a good day.

stone harvest of a stone seeker: hammer-, polishing-, rubbing- and whetstones, found in the border region around my place of residence