Nose to the grindstone

I had a mentally busy week last week. I’m up to my eyebrows in a story right now. Since the muse went packing after my old puppy died, this burst of creativity is not something I can turn my back on.  Strike while the iron is hot,  gather ye rosebuds while ye can,  sail with the tide, and carpe diem, I say.
So, yeah, I’m busy writing my next novel. Still, I couldn’t resist blogging a special day — It’s World Rock Stacking DayIt’s a little hard for me to do with my nearby river frozen over like it is, so I’m sharing it here just in case those of you in milder climes want to try.

rockIf you’ve never heard of this before, to some, rock stacking is a sort of performance art along the lines of what nature artist Andy Goldsworthy does. To others, balancing stones atop one another is a meditative process. I can see that. I’ve tried stone stacking on a small scale and it certainly is a peaceful activity, though not an easy one. You must be aware of each breath you take. Try it sometime and I think you’ll agree. You need not balance boulders. A handful of pebbles from the garden or park work just as well.

I came across this youtube gem recently. It’s a shorter artsier version of a lengthier clip (see additional link below). I think the narration adds a whole other dimension to stone balancing. As I said, some find this a mediation. I hope you enjoy.


The longer version

The Inuit culture also balanced stones.


phraseologyPhraseology I often wonder where certain words and sayings come from. For the next few weeks this word collector will be examining some familiar phrases to get at their heart. I think you’ll be surprised.
The phrase for today is ~ Keep your nose to the grindstone.

Thoughts are divided as to just where this phrase comes from. In common use, it means work without rest, but that’s far different from what it really means.

Some think it has to do with the miller sniffing the grindstone periodically to detect the smell of burning grain. With all the chaff and flour in the air, a fire would be something to be watchful of.  As plausible as this meaning appears at first glance, that stone would be a millstone not a grindstone.

Were we to look to early citations of the phrase from the 1600s to determine exactly what it means, they suggest it’s actually a form of punishment. Holding a knife or axe to a grindstone sharpens nosethe metal. Imagine someone’s nose to the grindstone for a crime they committed. Yikes. The phrase’s original meaning faded with time but was apparently known for what it was around the turn of the last century when this photograph was staged. >>>

I’ll say it again — Yikes.


RB4U purpleToday is Author Sam Cheever’s blog day.

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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2 Responses to Nose to the grindstone

  1. treknray says:

    It’s beyond my coordination. If I tried the bottom rock would fall.

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