Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In Their Own Words - Esther de Waal

A Threshold at Corcomroe Abbey
Already I am being brought into a world where significant things are shown as images, and insight comes from shapes and patterns, from the visual rather
 than from the written word.

   No sooner had I named my pilgrimage to sacred sites in Ireland and Scotland - my Threshold Pilgrimage - I came across a book by one of my favorite authors on Celtic spirituality, Esther de Waal.  To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border is the ideal book to take along with me.  Its tiny size makes it perfect to keep in my day pack as I journey through the landscape.  Traveling as light as possible is very important to me on this journey.

   This quotation from the book is an apt description of the contemplative photographer.  Our insights are gathered through our images.  The visual world is a lexicon of meaning for our inquiring hearts.  We may be inspired by the written word but it is the visual world that holds the wisdom we seek.

   Unlike the other sacred sites I will visit in May and June, Corcomroe Abbey is a familiar and cherished place. John O'Donohue use to bring his retreatents here every year to experience the amazing power of this place.  It truly has a very special feel to it.  You can take a virtual walk through the abbey in my YouTube video.

   The Abbey is a monument to thresholds.  You cross over many as you walk through the site.  From darkness you move into the light.  From confined and bordered spaces you move into the vast expanse of the Burren landscape.  The transitions are breathtaking.  

    I will re-visit Corcomroe on the first leg of my journey.  I wonder what new wisdom it has to impart to me this time?  For it is true, each visit brings something new and refreshing.  A deeply spiritual place like Corcomroe Abbey can never grow stale.



OddZenEnz said...

I love your images of Ireland. We are planning a trip to Ireland next year and hope to visit quaint towns and beautiful scenery.

Patricia Turner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia Turner said...

Oops! Sorry for the glitch! That's wonderful news of your upcoming visit to Ireland. Be sure to schedule a visit to the Burren! You can go to my Pinterest site and click on "On location - the Burren" to access some resources. The link to Pinterest is in the right side bar. Planning a trip is half the fun! Enjoy!