Syria v Lindisfarne


Watching the news from Syria just now ... thinking of an extract from  my novel in progress, The Book, chapter eight ... 

And there! Close in to the shore, unmistakeable, an otter had surfaced. He or she rolled on to its back, front feet holding, mouth munching on what could be a small crab. He watched the creature finishing its snack then rolling and diving again, thick tail looping, disappearing from sight. Everything, every single living thing must live by consuming life whether animal or vegetable, he thought. He thought of the ancient Celtic border design he had seen illustrated in a National Geographic in his dentist’s waiting room. The Lindisfarne Gospels, that was it. Bird eats bird eats bird eats – all the way around the edges of the page and so beautifully drawn, wonderfully coloured with inks that had lasted for twelve hundred years. The magazine piece had said the monks or more probably one monk living on that Northumbrian island had taken many years to create the masterpiece. How long would that magazine itself last in an age of here and now today and gone tomorrow with scant trace left behind ... '

You can read it all to date and with new chapters each month by clicking here and 'subscribing' free of charge.

But whatever you do, please click the link to Wikipedia's Lindisfarne Gospels. Then ask yourself what has been learned that is of any real as opposed to peripheral value to your life, these last twelve hundred years.

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