Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Blackwater Lightship

I just finished this novel by Colm Toibin. It is about three generations of strong independent women, sorting through the love and resentments that bind them. As Helen helps her mother and grandmother care for her dying brother in a remote crumbling house by the sea in Ireland after a bad sleepless night she stands at the edge of the cliff and I wanted to share the following paragraph which struck me so deeply:
"Imaginings, and resonances and pain and small longings and prejudices. They meant nothing against the resolute hardness of the sea. They meant less than the marl and the mud and the dry clay of the cliff that were eaten away by the weather, washed away by the sea. It was not just that they would fade: they hardly existed, they did not matter, they would have no impact on this cold dawn, this deserted remote seascape where the water shone in the early light and shocked her with its sullen beauty. It might have been better she felt, if there had never been people, if this turning of the world, and the glistening sea and the morning breeze happened without witnesses, without anyone feeling, or remembering, or dying, or trying to love. She stood at the edge of the cliff until the sun came out from behind the black rainclouds."


  1. That is such an exquisite paragraph, Karin, I read it twice it was so beautiful and sad and perfect. I know exactly what the writer is talking about, I have had moments like those, very early morning and alone by the sea, carrying with me some sorrow. Thank you so much for posting it.
    I am going to stop blogging for a while. I have had bad news about my health. So I also need to pause, to think things over. You know I have leukemia, and there is no cure for this type.
    But I want you to know that you will be in my heart. And I will be mailing you the book to your brother's house.
    Take care and the best to Eliot, hugs, Celeste P.S. Even though I wrote this here, I am not advertising what is happening with me. So I would appreciate it if you erase the comment after reading. Thank you, Karin.

  2. Hi Karin....

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your comments. It's nice to meet you.

    Yes, I was born and raised in Arkansas. Had a career in the Nuclear Power Plant Industry which took me around the country but I eventually retired and am now living permanently back in Arkansas. And as you can well imagine I'm sure, they're still calling the hogs in Fayetteville.

    I am closing the blog that you visited but will still be maintaining an on-line journal at Writing To Myself so please drop by anytime. It is a journal so I decided to keep comments "closed" but feel free to drop an email anytime with regard to any of my entries.

    I have added you to my personal blog list so I will continue to drop by for visits.

    Later....Alan G