Day 68 – Rock Child (Joshua Tree)

Saturday, November 7, 2009
Day 68
8:55 pm – 11:31 pm

Rock Child (Joshua Tree)

Over 100 million years ago lived a Clan of Granite
Theirs was a family of ten thousand members
They, whom we would consider giants, were
Breathing Formations who could be heard
as they walked the earth
together

From hundreds of miles away their procession sent
a rumble in the subterrain through the roots of all
living beings, matched only by the sound
of their joints and limbs walking, tens of
thousands of molten glass claps, click
clack click clack click clack

The youngest child of the clan was unique
as they knew he would be the last in
their lineage, the earth growing as it
was, so their vision was their task
to grow rocks on this earth
as they roamed over it

Even for a mass that moved as slowly as they did
there was much to do so the youngest of the
young, named Joshua, decided one day to
plant himself down and stay put where
he could be soft and help
quiet the earth

Enchanted almost immediately at the place where
he landed, Joshua, the Rock Child, gazed lovingly
at the tiny prickly stickly shrubs that reminded
him of sugar cane after a ravenous bout
in the way he would eat them,
only from the top

Stonemason he was, Joshua chose to create a
complimentary template to shade and
surround the miniature trees with a
palate of gold minerals and pink
quartz, this was how he
would light the world

He ran throughout miles of land, taking the water
he saved in his canteen to blend with the salt
of his hands and plant pods of molten rock,
blowing on them gently to help them dry
faster, this landscape he was sure
to make beautiful

Hours passed, and his grandmothers called
to Joshua to roam elsewhere with them
but he refused, Days passed and
his grandfathers tried to beckon
him away, but of course he
had much more to do

His plan was to realize a portrait of many formations
in to an entire clan, especially since his grand
mother warned him of some time
in the future when they were
destined to be left behind
for the earth to grow

That they would have to go away did not make much
sense to him, but he figured he could build a
magnificent family tree picture that would
remember their tireless work to share
trillions of bits of themselves
throughout the world

Soon and not soon enough, no longer hours,
but the days and weeks and years passed
and no one could get Joshua to leave his
work, and as tired the clan did grow,
at some point no longer
did they bother him

Instead, some laughed, some smiled, and some
thought nothing of if because they knew
He was to be left alone, an Elder Rock
did say, he found and thus could
never leave the fascination
before him

It was his task that did become a musing, and
then a passion, and then a mission, he
found himself to be the only family
documentarian, so hardworking
and determined and
focused he was

Handfuls upon handfuls of crushed rock and
piece by piece, Joshua formed and created
mile upon mile of beautiful piles, that
which we would call mountains.
He was meticulous, proud,
and steady

Slowly over time, each of the ten thousand members
of his family convened to watch his little spectacle
While they hoped for his pause or his attention
none came their way so they each chose
a small mountain pile to lay next to
and fell asleep

Once in a while Joshua did look up to notice his
family peacefully napping and he grinned
He was happy to see his mothers
fathers elders siblings and all
settled down, taking a break
He, too, was almost done

And one day he really actually finally was
He was so pleased that he got
up to dance and wake his
family to dance with him
Look! Everyone! See!
I am finished!

He went around so excitedly nudging
everyone every of the ten thousand
of his kin and he tried and
tried and tried until he
realized NO! Joshua
couldn’t wake them

They had fallen asleep waiting for him
So deep in to a fallen sleep that
time could no longer wait
for Joshua’s work to be
done to awaken
anyone

So came the rain, and so came the
tears flying from Joshua’s face
for hours and hours while
he walked among his
family looking at all
of their faces

Until he came upon his grandmother
Her face held that of a grand smile
He was suddenly arrested in a
calming reminder that he
recalled from her from
years before

They had lived for hundreds of generations
performing the task of their vision to
cover the earth with granite
It was a grand creation
meant to live well
beyond them

That which would be so powerful
as to remind us to walk with
beauty, to walk steady, to
walk with strength, and,
sometimes,
to pause

He had reached the moment
of their destiny and Joshua
felt it coming to his own
body as he grew
so peacefully
tired

He looked around again to realize he had
nothing to fear from the quiet all
around him for his family joined
the mountain piles to
become the
formations

He took it upon himself to create a
vision of one final task where
he roamed alongside
each of his family’s
ten thousand
bodies

He carefully placed his favorite rocks in odd
shapes and angles on each and every
one of them. One by one, he
fitted, molded, and fused
them in to unexpected
fanciful places

When he was done, it was a sight even
for Joshua to behold in awe and at
the end of the ten thousandth one
he returned to his grandmother,
laid down next to her, and
fell asleep

traci kato-kiriyama

(When you walk through Joshua Tree, the
Granite Clan is still there, sleeping, and
You can see the work of a child
who created while his family
crept in to the dream
of his vision)

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About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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