As I begin to lay out the next Blurb book, I’m retracing the steps of my burgeoning engagement with persons and creatures in rock. It seems that it was more than five years ago (in March 2014) that I discovered the 12th Imam (who went into Occultation in 874 CE) on a stretch of beach rock:
I relocated the original image and rotated it a bit, then traced the lines of extravagant turban, beard, and eye-nose-mouth:
The great significance for me of this image is its contribution to my appreciation of ephemerality in the medium of rock. Months after the original capture of the Imam (in December 2014), I returned to the stretch of beach in search of the Imam. I found the rock, sure enough, but the Imam was simply not there:
Subsequently (as I compared the March and December images) I realized that the Imam’s mouth in the March image was in fact a strand of seaweed, whisked away by the next tide. I can imagine a turban’d face in the December image, but it’s not nearly as classy as the Imam.