Eventually I identified the rocks. The petrified roses were barite, probably from Oklahoma. The scratchy brown mineral was bauxite - aluminium ore. The black glass was obsidian; the booklet of transparent sheets was mica; the goldeny iridescent handful of soft crystals was chalcopyrite, an ore of copper...

By hiccup, May 1, 2012.

Found in An American Childhood, authored by Annie Dillard.


She couldn't explain why her discovery that rocks were different from each other and had special names was so important. The names were a language; not many other people might know it, but if you found one who did, you would be able to talk together. Only about rocks, but that would be something. She would walk up and down the stairs murmuring these names, wondering if she was pronouncing them right. "Schist," she would say, "magma, igneous, malachite, pyrite, lignite."

By angela, April 23, 2012.

Found in Life Before Man, authored by Margaret Atwood.