On a Friday night in Omaha in 1961 my father found a freckled red jasper stone at the YMCA community dance. When he held her up to the light, the iron ore bands in her heart formed a family of small sea turtles.
When they married, he rubbed his walrus tusk on her smooth jasper surface until a milky blue opal named Catherine was born. Pure as the driven snow, she embodied her mother's patience and temperance. If you held her up to the light, you could see scree and tallus reflected in her depths.
For five years, mineral solutions and calcium carbonate dripped from my father's walking stick in the cavern of his existentialism until a stalagmite was formed. By her own tears would she grow into Dorothea.
Three tears later, a bluish crystal named Karma was unearthed from a hidden paradise. When the light shined through her just right, you could see two trilobites in her soul.
We are all in a shadow box on the wall now, waiting for the younger sticks and stones in the family to awaken to a curiosity about their family origins. Waiting for them to pluck one of us from the wall and wonder who we are and where they come from.
Two Guys from the "Sticks and Stones" found object sculpture series by my dad