The Language of Stone

In Arches, Misha uncovers the pain and the healing power of the land. She listens to the soil crust with Ranger Erik Jensen and the arches with scientist Riley Finnegan and Navajo nation and Hopi tribe member, Angelo Baca. Then, she heads on a hike with Canyonlands Field Institute’s Michele Johnson, and talks about what it means to have lived through the last few years of pain and how nature has been a source of solace.

Arches is the land of Pueblo of Zuni (or A:shiwi), Hopi Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe - Uintah and Ouray, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians.


University of Utah researchers know well how rock towers and arches shimmy, twist and sway in response to far-off earthquakes, wind and even ocean waves. Their latest research compiles a first-of-its-kind dataset to show that the dynamic properties, i.e. the frequencies at which the rocks vibrate and the ways they deform during that vibration, can be largely predicted using the same mathematics that describe how beams in built structures resonate.

Utah’s red rock towers shake and shimmy to a predictable beat - Ars Technica, Mar 7, 2022. 

Discover the sound that could preserve Utah’s arches - National Geographic, Oct 11, 2021

Respecting the land 

Some of the sites studied have special significance to local Native American tribes, including the towers in Valley of the Gods, Bears Ears, Utah. 

The valley, according to the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, “…is considered sacred to the Navajo, who interpret the giant sandstone monuments as ancient Navajo warriors frozen in stone—and time.” Finnegan says the researchers met with teachers from Whitehorse High in Montezuma Creek near Valley of the Gods and that one of the students, Weston Manygoats, joined them for fieldwork. 

“He is extremely bright and hardworking, and we were very grateful for his assistance,” Finnegan says. The research team strove to practice respectful visitation during their fieldwork, and recommends that others visiting the Bears Ears area consult with guidelines from the Coalition and visit the Friends of Cedar Mesa Visitor Center in Bluff, UT. Visitors are asked to stay on marked trails, visit cultural sites with respect, leave any cultural objects as they are found, and avoid touching rock art. 

 “We hope that by recognizing these towers are constantly in motion, trembling, swaying and shuddering in response to wind and energy coursing through the Earth, visitors to these sometimes sacred landscapes will have an added layer of respect, and ultimately that our measurements will inspire a spirit of care for these amazingly unique places,” Moore says.


Please see these additional pieces mentioned in the film: 

• ‘Bridge’, a four part sound piece created for this fellowship: • Red rock tones, the voice of Utah’s arches: 

• Barrette Arch, a singular voice:

Audible vibration inspired pieces

  • Red Rock Tones - the hidden voice of Utah's arches

  • Bridge - a four part sound piece from vibration recordings

  • Barrette Arch - a singular voice

  • Transmission - sound installation piece by Jacob Kirkegaard

  • The Resonance of Stone - essay by Terry Tempest Williams
  • “Some of the most rewarding times I have had in the field are times when I’m able to slow down, sit and listen and imagine these towers in motion,” Jeff Moore, associate professor of geology and geophysics, says. “We can’t see or hear or feel their motion, but it is very real and is always (and has always been) happening. For me, this new perspective creates a renewed and intimate connection with the landscape.”

 Hi Everyone!

There is a poem from FINDING THE INVISIBLES I want to share:

Every single day

Mountains move

Oceans rise

Lakes expand

Beaches erode

Earthquakes shake

Volcanoes blow

Canyons crack

Rivers run

Forests reseed

Islands sink

Ice melts

Poles shift

People panic

Migrations start

The Sun rises

The Sun sets

Every single day

© 2022 

Happy Solstice! And COSMIC LOVE to you all! 




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