Picture This: Lone Stone of the Moor

by Keith Savage · 6 comments


I am back on the empty road encircling Scotland’s Isle of Arran, all the undulating fields, like the wrinkled palm of a cupped hand, surrounded by cloud-capped hills. The wind is not gentle – it sleds off the snowy uplands, screams through the forests, and whooshes over the untamed grasses – nor is it unwelcome. A massive stone slab thrusts from the valley floor. It is a collection of smooth expanses, sharp angles, and purposeful striations. It is the fragment of a dream disappearing in our first moments of wakefulness. It stands alone, opposite me.

I have traveled alone in fits and spurts these past few years, seeking something, I think, just beyond my perception. I have marveled at the mystery of monuments like this one, casting my wonder upon the stone. I have sought the comfort of others, afraid of some great unknown, even after I’ve rowed myself into these lonesome seas. But here it appears to me, naked now, somehow unlocked after all this time, that these pictures are mirrors. Glittering moments compelling one to look inside. I feel hung upon strings I had not craned my head to see, only to find my own hand holding them. It is said too much light can blind; perhaps this has been my way of cracking the lid.

Though it has been many months since I was last in Scotland, I have no regret. I have these meditations. And I am thankful for this opportunity I’ve had to find my way here.


GrayNo Gravatar January 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Wow. Beautiful piece of writing, Keith.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Thanks Gray. Though for what I feel, I haven’t said enough.

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KenNo Gravatar January 11, 2013 at 6:38 AM

Do you know what this stone is, represents? Scotland’s standing stones are one of the intriguing mysteries in this ancient, wonderful place. Perhaps it’s an early advert for Isle of Arran!?

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar January 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

No, I don’t know what the stone means in any objective, historical context. I know what it means for me, though, and I think it will be bring me back to this beautiful little island.

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Gayla~No Gravatar February 4, 2013 at 4:10 AM

Beautiful photo and moving words. I can feel and hear the wind and see the grasses swaying…
The mysteries of the stones are intriguing, they stand tall and strong weathering the elements as best they can. We can learn a lot from them.
This post brought to mind a favorite classic written by Paul Simon, “I am a rock”…fitting, somehow.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Thanks Gayla. It is difficult to translate the feeling of being in the stones’ presence to the written word.

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