A Marker for Change

Lighthouse, between Craignure and Oban May 2014

Lighthouse, between Craignure and Oban May 2014

22 May 2014
10:20 pm

T. —

A quick note today. It’s 20 minutes past time for bed.

This lighthouse — I don’t know the name of it. All I know is that this is one of the last pictures I took on my Iona adventure, on the ferry from Craignure (Isle of Mull) back to Oban (back to mainland Scotland). It has become this icon to me: this representation of moving between states of things. A marker for change, for transition.


My list of books from Iona:

  • Orkney by Amy Sayerville
  • Otherwise: Poems by Jane Kenyon
  • Ordinary Magic: Everyday Life as Spiritual Path by John Welwood
  • A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
  • Earth Elegy: Poems by Margaret Gibson
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • Something Understood poems compiled by Beverly McAinsh
  • Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  • Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World by John O’Donohue
  • Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • All the Little Live Things by Wallace Stegner
  • S by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst (not finished. I’m taking it to America with me)
  • Eternal Echoes by John O’Donohue
  • Selected Poems by David Scott
  • Horizontal Gatherings 9 by Jan Sutch Pickard
  • Collected Poems by Kathleen Raine
  • The Patient’s Eyes by David Pirie
  • The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Collected Poems by Norman McCaig
  • The Bone-Collector’s Daughter by Amy Tan
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie


I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

– from When Death Comes by Mary Oliver


I’m packing for the US and trying to get ready for bed, and dealing with to-do lists, and I’m thinking: what happened to the minimalist life?

More soon,


One thought on “A Marker for Change

  1. I loved your photo of the lighthouse. I love lighthouses. I love everything they stand for, what they symbolise.

    Thanks for sharing the books you’ve read. I haven’t updated our reading list in a long time.


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