I used to take rocks from the alleyway behind our house, or particularly interesting rocks anytime I saw one I felt was worth taking. I would wrap them up, take them to our house and wash them in the bathroom sink, filling it up with water and soap. The rocks would soak for a little while, until the water was cloudy or my patience ran out. I'd drain the water, then rinse the rocks over and over again until the water ran clear. Once the water was totally clear, I would dry them with a towel, then lay them out in the sun until they were absolutely dry. I would then try to wash the sink and wipe it up so it wasn't obvious I'd just been washing rocks in it.
When they were dried completely, I would get out the craft paints my mother had bought from JoAnn's Fabrics and I would paint them. Not paint on them, because I wasn't trying to make pictures or actual things. I would just paint them, red black green blue yellow, until the designs were what I liked. Then I'd lay them out in the toy room to dry on a shelf. There are still random spots of paint on those shelves or places where I accidentally pulled the surface up a little. I wasn't very good at thinking ahead, you see.
Once the paint was done drying...
Well, then I just kept them.
Most of them are probably still hidden in the storage room, the 'toy room' that I monopolized throughout the later part of my childhood. I took my favorites with me along with all the random buttons, rocks, shells gemstones, canadian coins and other things I've picked up along the way. I have them in a bag, still, as we don't have the 'decoration' space in this house to get them out and put them in the box I used to have them out in. They'll come back out at the next place, once we're out of state.
So... there you go.
I thought of it because I'm working on a commission for my friend Casey and it involves painting some white gravel on the canvas as part of the commission. And it made me think about how I used to paint ON rocks, and now I am painting rocks.
This made me smile, but also struck me as one more reason all the town kids thought I was weird. Because I was.
But then, I think everybody's kind of weird as a kid, and whether or not we talk about it, we all remember doing things that seem vaguely bizarre now. Like naming my bicycle when I started on my first 'adult' bike.
Now, see, aren't you so glad you know that?