The latest newsletter from the Center for Land Use Interpretation had in its book review section a small blurb on the the new Book by Ryan Thompson and Phil Orr, titled Bad Luck, Hot Rocks: Conscience Letters and Photographs from the Petrified Forest.
Visitors to the Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona are
not supposed to take any of the unusual rocks home with them, but of
course many do, and there is no way, really, to stop them. But, for some
perpetrators, guilt, a sense of a karmic imbalance, and even bad luck
attributed to the rocks in their possession, compel them to return the
rocks by mail, usually accompanied by an apologetic note or letter. Since
1934, the park has been saving these conscience letters, and putting the
returned stones in a pile. This book presents some of the letters, and some
of the rocks (…)
The people that picked up the rocks, sensed the earth material only because the earth material sensed them, since it communicated via the delivery of bad luck.
This sensual co-op between man and earth is similar to the phenomena of the „earthquake sensitive“, which is a person that claims to have the ability to predict earthquakes via the use of their body as a medium for risk modeling and prediction. Sensitives often claim to feel physical and mental effects prior to an earthquake, including ringing of the ears, dizziness, ear tones, headaches, vivid dreams, anxiety, and visions. In some cases it was reported that certain parts of their bodies represent specific geographical sites, for example, if your elbow would be the netherlands and it aches, it would then propose that the dutch countryside awaits a major rupture of the ground. In this sense, the body would function as a sensual 1:1 map of the earth, one which is wrapped around the earth like a blanket that monitors tectonic behaviors.
In the work, WHO DOES THE EARTH THINK IT IS, made by the artist collective Otolith Group, such reports from Earthquake sensitives have been the topic. The collective came upon an archive of “warning” letters, which were send in by members of the public to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in California since the early 1990s.