A beautiful memoir, travelogue, and meditation on stone by artist and stone mason Beatrice Searle.
'What are you doing? If you don't mind me asking?'
I say that we are taking this stone to Trondheim. I continue to tell her the story of Magnus and ancient Kings.
'Would you like to stand in it?' I ask. 'That is what it is for.'
At the age of twenty-six, Beatrice Searle crossed the North sea and walked 500 miles through Southern Norway on a medieval pilgrim path to Nidaros Cathedral, taking with her a 40-kilo stone from the West coast of Orkney.
She had recently completed her masonry training at Lincoln Cathedral and become fascinated with the mysterious footprint stones of Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the ancient Greco-Roman world; stones closely associated with travellers, saints and the inauguration of Kings. Following in their footsteps, her stone becomes a talisman of sorts, a bedrock on the move, and an offering to those she meets along the way.
Stone Will Answer is an unusual adventure story of resilience and homecoming, of weight and motion, of rediscovering love and faith, and of journeys practical, spiritual and geological. A captivating blend of exploration, memoir and myth, and an insight into a beguiling craft, it asks what lessons might be learned from stone, what we choose to carry with us and what we return to put down or pick up again.