Picture This: The Suspense of Ailsa Craig

by Keith Savage · 4 comments

Somewhere along the belly of Arran I am kicking across sandy turf where boats are beached and a handful of world-weary buildings face the sea. The music in my headphones tethers me to a life in stasis. Cold winds dent my jacket, claw my hair. A mown ramp leads to a bench, a rocky crevice, and perspective. In the sea beyond Arran, Ailsa Craig rises, suspended on the horizon, like some abandoned, ley pyramid. I pluck headphones from my ears and let this scene rest in my sight like a butterfly in the hand. I’m waiting for it to disappear in the sea mist, for a blink to send it into memory. Moments of clarity are just those.

Fairy rock, refuge of Catholics, bastion against the spectre of invading Spanish, land for sale – Ailsa Craig has been all these things, still is those things. Who can say what it will be in the future? Ailsa Craig hovers between the rocky bookends. Once I believed this was a liminal time in my life, a metamorphosis that would lead me to a final state. I see now that I will always be on the sea, moving between two poles I can never reach, that I must wish not to reach, though I paddle like a man possessed.

Edingurgh travelerNo Gravatar February 25, 2013 at 5:51 AM

It seems almost impossible that wherever you go in Scotland you always find a mysteriously scenic view and a story to tell… Is it a result of previous study or is Scotland really filled with tales and beautiful places that wherever you go you stumble into one? πŸ™‚
Beautiful photo – as usual…


Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 25, 2013 at 7:59 AM

These photos are always the result of serendipity in my travel. So, it really IS that Scotland is just filled with an unfathomable number of beautiful and mystical places.


RandyNo Gravatar February 22, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Never seen Ailsa Craig, but it looks like a pretty nice view from where you took your photograph. Its so sheer it looks like there isn’t anyplace to build a lighthouse on it. It reminds me of Five Islands Provincial Park in Nova Scotia. I never had the opportunity to explore the Firth of Clyde, getting to see the former John Brown Shipyard was my farthest trip up the Clyde. I can just imagine the cold wind blowing in from the sea, and the smell. Makes me want to go back and explore some more. πŸ™‚


Keith SavageNo Gravatar February 23, 2013 at 7:28 AM

There’s a ruined castle on Ailsa Craig, too, I believe. Castles in the unlikeliest places.


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