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These sculpted rocks…

… insist on some grand meaning and seem to satirize human efforts at grand meaning. So here, on the upper edge of Courthouse Rock, is the Sphinx, only more massive and ruined and mysterious, its face high to the sun. And here at the rock’s base is a caryatid, only far more flowing and classical than anything on the Acropolis. Openings onto Petra, and long lines of inscribed stelae, are everywhere.

The rocks say We’ve condensed into ourselves all the monumental constructions of humanity. All of your monuments are imitations.

But of course it goes the other way. In my mind are all those places, spiritual and civic monuments, and I bring them with me to this place, and see them all around me.

A Picasso profile of Jacqueline appears on a rock next to the famous chapel. The same rock grins with rows of Notre Dame gargoyles.

One rock is a pile of clay from Rodin’s studio.

Margaret Soltan, January 9, 2012 5:53PM
Posted in: snapshots from sedona

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