A good friend of mine prepared for a visit to his doctor by compiling a thorough documentation of his medical history. His doctor took one look at the spread sheets and the columns of numbers, and said something to the effect of, “I’m not interested in data.”
My friend—a doctor himself— was shocked. For him, as a member of a scientific and medical tradition stretching back to the ancient Hellenic philosophers, empirical evidence is the basis for knowledge. But my friend’s doctor probably already knew what specific data he would need to make a diagnosis and design a treatment. He wasn’t interested in seeking knowledge, but in solving a problem.
Unlike my friend’s doctor, I have no plan or methodology for finding the clues I need to pierce the enigma of the cross carved in stone I found on the bluff overlooking the Potomac River. For the most part, I just stumble around in the forest, happily finding clues, many of them intriguing, but none that have actually brought me closer to understanding anything significant about that odd carving. This is hardly surprising, because it would take the training and the skills of an archeologist to know what to look for and how to make sense out it, and I’m not an archeologist.
But through it all, I have found something important that goes beyond the enigmatic rock. As I write in my main article:
Here was a patch of forest overlooking the Potomac, lovely in its own right, but otherwise seemingly unremarkable. Yet, as I discovered through the bits of glass and flakes of stone, the circles of rocks and odd bits and pieces of human detritus, that spot has a conscious dimension that stretches back—who knows?—decades, centuries, maybe much longer. Even on a silent winter’s day, when nothing moves except the river, there are voices here.
Here’s a visual summary of what I’ve found.