Choosing the stone

Not all stones can become Alchemy Stones.

In fact, the vast majority of stones I see are not good candidates, at all.

It's difficult to describe how the stones come to me-- in a sense, I would have to say that they "speak to me," as I walk along the beach. From somewhere in a pile of tens of thousands of beach pebbles sized from smaller than my finger nail to larger than a basketball, I "notice" one particular stone.

Why, exactly, it stands out... I don't know. But I feel compelled to pick it up.

But that's only the beginning of the selection process.

The next step is purely kinesthetic.

Unless a stone "feels right" in my hand, it can't become an Alchemy Stone.

"Feeling right" is a pretty nebulous concept, as well, involving the surface texture of the stone, the shape, the size, its curves and more.

Then, of course, it also has to be visually appealing-- not just overall, but in such a way that a pattern will "fit" naturally with its shape.

The long and the short of it is that very few of the thousands of rocks I see during any given six-hour trip along the beach actually make it home. One some days I may return empty handed-- on others I may come home with as many as a dozen new stones.

Either way, a true Alchemy Stone is a rarity.

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