You ever balance a bunch of rocks? Me neither. It never even crossed my mind until this past weekend.
I've repaired cairns before, marking trails across slickrock. But that's more about stacking than balancing. There's an intended permanence to a cairn, and a clear utility. They're not art.
(Which, as a side note, might be a good reason to ease back on stacking "cairns" by the thousands on every scenic overview. You don't need to plant your flag every time, Neil Armstrong! You're not the first brave soul to have ventured 75 yards from the parking area!)
Balancing rocks though? This seems different. At least in part because you know it can't possibly last. Out of curiosity, I gave one a quicky try this past Saturday while wandering the shore. I have to say, even my hack-a-stack effort was crudely gratifying. But when someone knows what they're doing? It's art of the highest form, silent and spiritual and strong.
Over the years, I've seen some impossibly cantilevered towers and spires. They stand completely still, of course, but you can almost feel them vibrating with the impatient energy of the momentary. It's hard not to watch and wait for the inevitable: a return to earth of heavy things.
Anyway, I think I discovered a new hobby perfectly suited for my strengths: An inordinate capacity for focusing intensely, but briefly, on fanciful endeavors. Coupled with access to rocks.
Of course, with me it's amateur hour. Holy crap though, when done well? Check out Michael Grab in the video below. Check out his site too. What he does is really something to behold.