Stories of Love, by Stones

There’s love in the ruins.

084352: Courtyard

I depend on my imagination to see it. Maybe, it’s not in the ruins; only in my imagination. The stones in the ruins, of a few thousand years ago, have a story to tell. I want to sit with the stones and know of the ages they have witnessed.

“I am a stone,” said one of the stones in the ruins. “We were born of immortal and noble parents — Pressure and Time — we have been made by them, and in time, we will be undone by them. A long time ago, we stopped counting our age, in that sense we are ageless, timeless. We have seen everything, from when it all started, to this day, as I see you here sitting on a stone, surrounded by stones, listening to a stone. We know all. But, what is it you seek, my dear traveller? Am I a check box in a list of places that you visit, a photograph of how man has re-formed us, or just a social media update? Or, would you like a story?”

“Tell me the story of love,” I said.

2650: The Invincible

“There is no one story of love,” a rough voice, said. Behind me, the almost perfectly round boulder joined in. “There are stories, and far too many, for the time you have. We have seen so much love. There was honour, beauty, and grace in what unfolded upon us and around us. Not all was graceful, I will admit. We have seen death in equal measure, and much blood was shed upon us in the name of love; for the sake of love. Yet, what we remember most is the sense of love. Weather washed away the blood stains, but not our memories. Ruined as we are, our memories are intact.”

The intricately carved pair of pillars were also listening. One was mauled, badly. I looked at them, as if to ask, what they had to say.

6555: Vitthala Temple Annexe, Hampi.

“We are the testament of the beauty that was the essence of the hearts of these lovers. And unfortunately, also the proof of hate in other people’s hearts,” said the mauled pillar, standing tall. “We see that people now have neither the time nor the beauty of expression that lovers once had. All is hastily scribbled without a sense of permanency. Each wishful graffito on us betrays timidity. Love is brave; love is conviction. A recreational scrawl declaring love, insults love. We have been witness to love for long; like us, it has lost some lustre.”

More stones joined in. They talked of love as they had seen it. In different times, in different places. Evening was upon us. The sun set behind the rocky mountain, and I bid farewell to the stones.

As I walked down the stones laid out in steps, I thought of what the round boulder had said.

We may have many versions of it, but there is only one story of love.

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4 thoughts on “Stories of Love, by Stones

  1. I may be too literal, but I remembered this while reading your post:

    Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.
    “But which is the stone that supports the bridge?” Kublai Khan asks.
    “The bridge is not supported by one stone or another,” Marco answers, “but by the line of the arch that they form.”
    Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: “Why do you speak to me of the stones? It is only the arch that matters to me.”
    Polo answers: ‘Without stones there is no arch”
    ― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

    Liked by 1 person

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