When I stumbled upon “Whoever sees me now will weep” by coincidence recently, it made me wonder what it might be about. Well, with Wikipedia’s help, I found it describes hunger stones, that is, large stones in rivers and lakes that show up only when there’s no water to cover them. In other words, when there is water aplenty, the hunger stones are out of sight, invisible to the naked eye…and lots of water has gone under the bridges, and lots of other stuff too, isn’t that so? I mean, who hasn’t heard of plastic, acid, and garbage?
Hunger stones have been relegated to antiquity, nevertheless, I think the idea of early warnings is as acute today as it seemingly was pre-internet. I think everybody ought to have personal hunger stones, naturally, to each their own.
That said, I think there are two worlds to fear or look forward to. On the one hand, the sickness of a world in the throes of death whose agony can be seen and felt to the abyss. “I see no hope for the future” (Hesiod 2,000-plus years ago), “The world is passing through troublous times” (Peter the hermit 1,000 years ago), “Life sucks and then you die” (Bumper sticker on yesterday’s cars), or “Doomsday clock nearer to apocalypse then ever” (BBC News zero years ago), seem to be telling us today there’s nothing new about it. On the contrary, fear is as old as our ability to talk about it, that is, since the appearance of words on Earth some 13,750 years ago.
On the other side, there is the world possibly best described by Martin Keogh: “When you look at the science about what is happening on Earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.”
My personal hunger stones include words not meant to be understood (for they have “Whoever sees me will be distracted” written all over them), my calendar telling me I haven’t exercised for a couple of days, people claiming to have found the truth, and people who don’t live in the now, but want me to worry about some other time instead. I believe “Never think of the future, it comes soon enough” (Albert Einstein) is the better option beyond the shadow of a doubt. Among my other favorite hunger stones, this one is not known to ever have failed yet: “Leave the table when love’s no longer being served.” – Nina Simone.
Make sense? Do you have hunger stones, possibly under a different name? What’s your favorite? I’d love to know and yes, feedback’s a gift 🙂