Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Am A Rock

Continuing on around the seawall in Vancouver's Stanley Park from yesterday's post, one of my favourite moments is when Siwash Rock comes into view.

There is a legend to this rock:

Image from

Somehow, I'm not convinced that being turned into a rock is a just reward for unselfishness,
 but who am I to judge? 

The greyness of the day only served to enhance the silhouette of the rock and the red and black lines of the freighters on the horizon.  There were hundreds of small black and white ducks swimming around the rock.

To pay hommage to the native legend, I incorporated a photo of a beautiful carved mask that I had photographed later the same day through the Eagle Spirit Gallery window on Granville Island, using only a hint of the carving's flowing lines.

I'm sorry that I don't have the artist's name for you but next time I'm there I'll go in the gallery and get the info.

I just couldn't resist making one more version of this iconic rock

Again, as in the photo a couple of posts back, we see a lone figure on the horizon.
It's almost as if he or she is offering up a prayer.
Perhaps inspired by the legend, it is a prayer for the well-being of this planetary village we all call home.


  1. Wonderful story and pictures about the rock!

  2. Oh, I feel that misty gray chill of Vancouver through these photos!! That is some strange story--turning Skalsh into a rock as a reward for good behavior! Not fair at all!!!

  3. I have almost identical pictures of the rock and the lone walker, also taken on a grey, overcast day - somehow, I think that grey is a suitable color for the rock and the legend. Kind of like mood "lighting!" What I don't have is your creativity - I love how you overlaid the artwork on the photo. It for sure resonates of "spirit." I am confident the first nations people of the west coast would be honored by what you have done with the rock.

    As for your response yesterday re: hauling out old pictures......YEAH!!!! I love visiting "home" through eyes. Your photos and their accompanying stories always gift me with a new perspective on some of my old haunts.

  4. Siwash Rock is one of my earliest memories of Vancouver after my arrival in August '57. Stanley Park was a wonderful escape from the downtown slum boarding house and Pauline Johnson's tales captured my youthful romanticism.

    Other memories are walking unaware past the Nine-o-Clock gun at precisely the right moment and jumping out of my skin and watching Ford Fairlane convertibles cruising at sunset with the Platters playing "Twilight Time". Youthful romanticism yet again.

  5. Very cool.. the legend.. the mask.. the beautiful rock and of course, its fine photographer. YOU rock!

  6. Interesting legend! :) I love the lone tree that survives at the top of the rock! YES! :)

  7. Aaarrgh, you've been slipping posts in here while I've been distracted...

    Now how about a version of the rock covered in spaghetti ? With a meatball on top ?

    See what you've started ?

  8. Last image is amazing.

    A role model of patience this rock must be. Thank you for introducing. Please have a good Friday.

  9. Oh, I love this setting, the rock jutting out of the silvery sea topped by a tree (!), and the legend. Thanks for bringing us up closer too. And the last image, a perfect moment, is a prayer unto itself.

  10. ladyfi,
    Yes, I couldn't make up a better one...though I always thought the legend was about a rebellious daughter who had swum out to meet her lover in his boat and was turned to stone by her angry father. But, apparently not.

    I'm getting re-aclimatized to this grey chill Vancouver winter weather. I still prefer it to the bone chilling cold of ice and spite of the lack of bright blue skies. I'll get back to you on this a month or so from now.

    I just read on your blog how trees are important symbols of strength for you. How about a west coast tree rooted to a rock?! With the tides and currents swirling below, while it hangs on and somehow thrives, weathering the storms.
    BTW, my sister recently pointed out to me that both you and I were out to lunch on that Dobson Trail/Cabot Trail from Deep Cove--it's the Baden Powell Trail!

    That's so funny about you walking past the 9 o'clock gun at 9 pm!
    I haven't heard it for years...not sure if it's still booming, even. The noon Oh Canada "whistle" is alive and well, though. Happened to hear it from the seawall this time, in fact. But that wouldn't have been in effect when you were a romantic youth living here, would it? Rooming houses...hmmm...don't think there's any of those anymore. Maybe around Pigeon Park, which has become a pretty scary part of town, really.

    ;-)I do my best to keep on rockin' in the free world.

    Mystic Meandering,
    Isn't that tree just the cherry on the sundae?! In keeping with the Indian legend, it reminds me of feathered head dress.

    Blogging happens, what can I say. Life goes on while little brothers are busy playing with their food. And there you go again, trying to blame your big sister for your
    own naughtiness. Would you like some spam with your spam?

    I like your idea--I think a legend about the virute of patience would be very appropriate for this rock.

  11. Stickup,
    I love how trees seemngly grow out of rocks! I used to paint them in my landscapes when I was in art school. Mind you, the tree might have been turquoise and the rock pink...but the inspiration was organic. I do love the quiet grey and silver tones of the wet west coast winter, and the deep green of the cedar trees sihoutted against the sombre purplish mountains. So different from your desert colours, which dazzle and delight my eyes.

  12. I love that final photo as it really does turn the rock iconic enhanced by the shades of grey....Happy New Year

  13. That's what little brothers are for... to play with their food, while every once in a blue moon dreaming up a bit of poetry and poetic justice. While waiting would sure love to see your painted version of this in pink rocks and turquoise trees, maybe a little chartreuse in there for good measure. Oh, and keep an eye on your mailbox... :-)

  14. Catherine,
    Siwash Rock is one of those sights that never fail to thrill me,no matter how many times I see it. I'm sure it's in all the tourist books about what to see in Vancouver.
    Happy New Year to you, too, if I haven't already wished it upon you!

  15. BrOwen,
    Yes, you have been known to occasionally step outside of your Little Brother role, though you seem pretty keen to demonstrate your inate talents in it to your Big Sister, given the least I mean ...admiration.

    As for the turquoise tree on the pink rock,I'm not sure where that painting ended up. I think a fellow from Haiti who moved to Moncton many years ago bought it when he bought our house.

    What do you mean, "while I'm waiting." Just what is it you're waiting for? More admiration?

    Camp now set up beside mailbox.

  16. I was waiting for my spam, spam, bacon, beans, and spam to be served up... that's what I'm waiting for !!!

  17. Owen,
    Would you like a slice of spam cheesecake for dessert?