drove me to wander over woods and fields
and in a mist of hot abundant tears
I felt a world arise and live for me.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
Monhegan is an island of contrast. From the sheltered and cultivated cove of the village to the wild and unspoiled cliffs at the end of rugged woodland paths, there is something here to appeal to everyone. At the trail's end we came to Burnt Head and the dizzying cliff edge. John O'Donohue's words came rushing in to me - You never know how close your feet are to the edge. Believe me, I kept my feet well away from the edge!
As my friend scrambled over the rocks to photograph over that scary edge, I opened my book Pilgrim Heart and found the Goethe quote above. (Have I mentioned how important books are to the contemplative photographer/pilgrim on location? ;-) Nearly as important as your journal.) The chapter was about a man who was facing his fear of heights during an Outward Bound experience. I could really relate to that as I tentatively photographed the swirling waves and rocks 140 feet below my feet. My vertigo kicked in I'll tell you! The title of this post comes from something he said as he prepared to repell down the huge cliff.
We all have fears we must face and try to overcome; whether it is the fear of getting lost or the fear of being too close to the edge. This Outward Bound motto the writer learned that day is one we all should embrace:
If you can't get out of it,
Get into it!
- Amen to that!