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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

In the Palm of your Hand

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas MARCH. 25, 2021

This my new favourite stone off the beach. Our local beach, at a distance, is a sort of drifting of shades of beige to pale amber. But up close the variety of stones seems to be unlimited. I always keep my eyes peeled for the unusual and this was today's find.

It is flat and thin and ribboned, with a pale grey thread through a darker grey. At some point in the past the pale stone was a liquid under great pressure and heat, forced through splits or cracks in the darker stone. Then cooled and left, maybe miles under the earth for millennia until the constantly moving land mass of the planet brought it into daylight where it was further worked on by the sea, making it smooth. The really beautiful aspect of it is the fact that although smooth to the touch the pale stone is slightly raised due to the fact that it is harder than the darker rock.

This gives it the appearance of delicately drizzled icing on a cake. It could also be a piece of wood with pale string wrapped around it, like the kite string I had as a child which would have rapidly unwound as the kite caught a gust of wind and roared upwards. As the kite disappeared into the distance above, becoming a bright dot of colour, I would have dropped the piece of wood to speed up the unwinding of the string which would have burned my fingers as the wood bounced around on the ground, whipped around by the fast unspooling.

Here in the palm of my hand is the past, a past both fifty years old and fifty million years old.

An ancient past of planets forming and transforming and a more recent past of life unravelling as a ball of string, sometimes controlled and deliberate and measured and at other times fast and unpredictable and dangerous.

At times the kite is in your hands, secure but with no momentum, once released it has potential. It soars away across the sea tied to it's string, remaining in your grasp, where you can regain control if the thread can take the strain, but it can also break free and drift away to new lands from whence it will never return.

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