A River of Stones

In January, I came across a wonderful idea, called A River of Stones. The idea was to notice a small thing every day, polish it, and write it down. More than 350 people took part, some keeping their mindful observations, or small stones, to themselves, while others shared on Twitter, on their blogs and in other ways. All those small stones became a tide – the river.

The River of Stones is Fiona Robyn’s creation, and you can read more about it  here.  You can also get a badge to add to your own blog, if you plan to participate, and add your name to the mailing list (and much more!) 

The River of Stones is a gift. It works as a writing prompt: Pay attention, notice something, be observant, then write about it. Polish your stone. It is an opportunity to interact with a community of other small-stone writers, though you can also just keep your small stones for yourself. For me, remembering to write a small stone every day is remembering to be mindful, to be in the present moment, to be aware. I discover all sorts of things that way. Each small stone is a meditation.

So how exactly do you write a small stone? Fiona describes it so well on her blog that I’ll quote her here:
“All you have to do to get involved is write a small stone. Keep your eyes, ears, mouth, and nose open. Observe one thing carefully. Write it down in your notebook or online. Polish it. Ta da! You don’t have to think of yourself as a writer to write small stones. The most important thing is to practice being open to the world – to be curious, to truly notice what is other.”

Let’s get this river flowing! Why not a whole ocean of stones?
Here’s my small stone for today:

A river of stones flows out to the ocean, flows around and through continents and islands, and into other oceans. All is one. Om shanti shanti shanti.



About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
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4 Responses to A River of Stones

  1. Berit says:

    I’d love to join a river of stones!

  2. Wordsculptor says:

    It was great to be involved in the river, sometimes it was no effort at all and others it was only discipline that got it done. Still it was well worth it and there’s another series coming up in July.

    • Thanks for dropping by! Yes, writing is like that, isn’t it? Sometimes the words just flow. Sometimes we are too tired to observe anything. Looking forward to seeing your small stones in July.

  3. J.A. Pak says:

    What a lovely idea.

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