Monday, January 22, 2007

Philosopher's Rock

Zilker Park is a place full of activity and people, except of course on those unfortunate rainy days. Today, however, the weather is perfect for a day in the park. A lady sleeps on the grass while another reads a book on a bench. A man sits on a rock and talks on his cell phone. A grandpa pushes a stroller along the sidewalk. Two girls spin hula hoops around their waists while their friends play cards. And a group of guys throw around a yellow Frisbee. With the endless possibilities at Zilker Park, it is surprising that the busiest place around is a statue called Philosopher’s Stone.

To the adults it is simply a sculpture of three men sitting on a rock, but Jay sees a playground waiting to be explored. He is the first to climb the rocks and make his way within the circle of the carved men.

As he climbs on top of one of the stone men, others begin to notice and join him in the fun.

The children form a circle of their own as they sit in the statues’ hands.

Sitting down only long enough for the camera to snap a picture,
the children quickly find new ways of engaging with the sculpture.

A game of tag begins as the boys jump from rock to rock trying to catch each other. No one dares step foot on the gravel; the trick is to always stay on the rocks.

The children are in their own world within the Philosopher’s Stone,
invisible to the nearby adults.

A man rushes by paying no attention to the excitement on the stones.

Two men are talking to each other, captivated only in their own conversation.

And some bikers ride along without a glimpse.

The Philosopher’s Stone is an interesting example of the different ways children and adults interact with their environment. The adults maintain a distance, while the children claim places and objects as their own, finding ways to personally engage with their surroundings.

1 comment:

dianne said...

I wonder what day in our lives is the day that we decide to become adults? This makes me wonder what which was the last day I would've played on the rocks and which was the first day I would have been be the onlooker...