Picture This: Making Sense of the Ring of Brodgar

by Keith Savage · 3 comments

The sun’s orange arms hold the Ring of Brodgar’s weathered megaliths in a nostalgic embrace. Tall shadows stretch toward a central swath of heather the color of a fresh bruise. The nightly convocation of the stones’ inscrutable souls. I feel like a raccoon that, clutching a shiny bauble, cannot remove its paw from the spiked pit trap. A fierce wind makes roiling mountains of Orkney’s clouds beyond the circle as I amble its inner circumference. I have shut out everything but the gentle, gritty sensation of antediluvian craftsmanship running beneath my fingerprints. Romantic notions suffuse me. Maybe I will sense some connection to the past, something…different.

I sit on the bumpy, wet turf and lean back against one of the monoliths. Is there another sense, creaking and atrophied and forgotten, beneath the constant chatter of the known five? Perhaps the heady cocktail of wonder and effervescent awe that derives from being in the presence of greater things is the speech of that lost sense. I open my eyes and the ring is cast in high contrast and desaturated tones. It looks like the exposed crown of a much greater structure. The meaning is here, but it escapes me like a glance lost in the foggy night, like a shining key just beyond my arm’s reach.

Did you know? You can BUY this photo just by clicking on it. Go ahead, see what I mean! Soon other Picture This posts will work the same way!

Tom @ Waegook TomNo Gravatar September 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Now forgive me but the first thing that crossed my mind when I read the title was Lord of the Rings….but obviously that was filmed in New Zealand. I’m loving the photo and it’s another reminder that I need to get north of the border and explore Scotland again. I’ve never made it past Edinburgh. Thanks for the inspiration!


Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 2, 2012 at 9:36 AM

If you’ve never made it past Edinburgh, then you have so many amazing sights and experiences waiting for you, from old distilleries in picturesque glens to ancient and mysterious monolithic monuments to wind-whipped coasts rife with cozy pubs. What are you waiting for?!


KenNo Gravatar September 1, 2012 at 6:02 AM

Great shot of the ring. What a beautiful day. I’ll never forget it… the wind and the amazing weather, or the strange, treeless beauty of Orkney.


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