Picture This: Parting the Veil in Glen More

by Keith Savage · 19 comments

Beneath the clouds of Glen More, a narrow road bounds over rill and heath like Highlanders of ages past. The hollow glen whispers on the grasses and burns streaming from the hilltops like dreams from a widow’s eyes. I am alone for the entire traverse of the glen, though I often notice something from the corner of my eye, at the edge of hearing. Skidding down a bank, I dip my hand in a frigid, crystalline stream. An old Gaelic belief suggests that the souls of heroes return to the hills of their country after death, to the scenes of their happiest times in life. Perhaps Glen More isn’t as empty as it appears. Though the holy site of ancient Iona lies far behind me, I feel much closer to heaven here among the upraised arms of Mull.


Metaphors cloud my vision everywhere in Scotland: The winds are the airs of fiddles, the mist-wrapped sunbeam is a smile breaking through tears, the bony ridges are the hands of a grandfather. Am I just a dreamer, someone who wishes to see the world a certain way? Or perhaps there are places, like Glen More, where the veil between what is and what is imagined narrows, where we can see through the opacity of our minds.

pamNo Gravatar December 26, 2011 at 10:41 AM

It’s been a while since I’ve peeked in — this photo is beautiful and so is your writing. Thanks for that.

I think there are places we see or feel ghosts. If we’re lucky, I mean.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 26, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Hey Pam, good to see you here. Totally agree about the ghost comment. I think it means we’re paying attention.

Scotland travelerNo Gravatar December 19, 2011 at 6:57 AM

Yet another amazing place in Scotland… this amazing country surprises me every time I see a new picture. 🙂 Glen More is beautiful, you are very lucky to be able to explore such breathtaking places.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 19, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Those surprises are an important reason why I continue to go back there again and again.

Holiday in scotlandNo Gravatar December 19, 2011 at 9:51 AM

You will have to let me know when you are next in Scotland, maybe i will be in the area and we can have a wee dram together……….although this could lead to some unusual behaviour when i am on the Scottish holy water. :- )

Holidays in scotlandNo Gravatar December 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I have stayed in many cottages in remote areas like this, with some great memories especially telling the children about the wolf and the killer haggis, poor things would not go out at night : )

Holiday in scotlandNo Gravatar December 14, 2011 at 6:29 AM

the more i look at this picture the more i want to build a home right in the middle of it and stare out the window all day laced with single malt and feeling the warmth of the log fire blowing up my kilt, sounds like the ideal life to me.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 14, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Indeed, if only that lifestyle didn’t lead to alcoholism and alienation 🙂 It’d be a great escape each year, though.

Maria of the Culture-istNo Gravatar December 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM

This photo sort of pulls you in and sweeps you down that long magnificent road!

Sam MoveNo Gravatar December 12, 2011 at 5:44 AM

Oh, I would give half of my life to have this road ahead right now…

Traveling TedNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM

This reminds me of one of the opening scenes of the movie Local Hero (filmed in Scotland). They are driving through scenery just like this and sadly hit a rabbit.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 11:35 AM

I still need to watch that movie.

wandering educatorsNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 8:28 AM

I remember roads like this, in Scotland – places that are haunting and soothing at once. lovely!

KenNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 7:20 AM

How lucky to have experienced these mystical moments. We lack this kind of thing in our modern world where our lives and experiences are so structured and rigidly defined, and our culture seems hostile to any sort of non-empirical reality. Scotland is wonderful in its ability to offer these experiences.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I think “hostile to any sort of non-empirical reality” sums it up well. I try to just take it as it comes and leave the scientific method at home.

Holidays ScotlandNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 3:47 AM

it is amazing how your mind can wander visiting these places alone, you can feel the past flowing through your body and the sounds mingleing through your mind mixed with the same echoes that sounded throughout these valleys in ancient times.

Nothing much has changed around the area apart from a few trees missing, you are looking through the eyes of a highlander and walking down a modern road that has probebly been constructed over the original path worn down down by peoples adventures through the past. facinating in your own mind till you here the sound of a jet flying above or a horn sounding telling you to get off the road, wakes you up for a while but you soon get back into your own hypnotic state and become pasrt of the history once again.

facinating post keith its nice to know our minds think the same when walking alone in Scotland,

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 10, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Hah, I’ve been there. Seems like many of the ultra-rural places in Scotland are also on RAF flight paths. It’s nice to think that maybe the power is in the place and not just how I choose to perceive it.

JoAnnaNo Gravatar December 9, 2011 at 9:55 AM

It looks like you could bike for miles on that road.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar December 9, 2011 at 10:21 AM

The road runs from one end of Mull to the other. It’s a stunning and long path.

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