Would you call this art?
How about this?
I don’t really care much about the “what is art?” conversation, though I’ve confronted this question before (take a look, even if it’s just for the amazing fossil images). The Giant’s Causeway (photos above) is deep-rooted for me. I first went there as a kid, and I left Northern Ireland feeling like I must be related to the whole country So many relatives, so many teas; the Giant’s Causeway was something of a respite. Not that, as a kid, I minded the tea carts, heavily laden with sweets. I remember running around on the Causeway, stepping away from the waves, on a gray, rainy, typically Irish, lovely day. I returned as an adult and found it exactly as I remembered (ok, clearly not exactly, as it was a gorgeous, sunny day). How often does that happen?
It’s amazing what nature can do. The Giant’s Causeway was formed by a volcanic eruption (read a quick and simple explanation here), and the resulting hexagonal basalt formations were the basis of legends, which is certainly not surprising. Supposedly the giant Finn McCool (aka Fionn Mc Cumhaill and Finn MacCoul, among other spellings) built the Causeway between Ireland and Scotland so he could walk between them without getting wet, and on the shore of Scotland, or more accurately on the the Island of Staffa, just off of Scotland, similar basalt columns line the coast. For more about Finn McCool, try this link, or for a brief re-telling of the legend, check out this page on the site for the Finn McCool Strongman Festival. (The version that I remember included Finn in a cradle dressed as a baby, his wife, Oonagh, making griddle cakes and putting a rock in one . . . anyway, you can also check the children’s section of your public library).
Soon after I’d set this post aside for awhile, as I often do when inspiration suddenly disappears, these images of rice paddies came across one of my social media feeds, and the “Is nature art?” question was resolved in my mind, once and for all. Yes. Nature is art. The Giant’s Causeway, case in point.