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  • Author: admin
  • Date Posted: Nov 28, 2015
  • Category:
  • Address: Holy Island TD15 2SH

Holy Island. Source of the The Lindisfarne Gospels.

Insula Sacra

I am the safe, healing place –
once protector
of Eadfrith’s life-blood.
Pricked and bound,
tidal and brooding,
every scratch deep mark
on me is made sacred
and salty by sea.

My gems and pigment
mixed or ground,
are pilgrim-led
over marsh and flats.
Safe to cross,
unsafe to cross –
best get it right
or my watery skirts will have you.

 

Holy Island of Lindisfarne - credit: Northumberland Coast AONB

Holy Island of Lindisfarne – credit: Northumberland Coast AONB

Lindisfarne Priory with castle in background - credit: Gail Johnson, Visit Northumberland

Lindisfarne Priory with castle in background – credit: Gail Johnson, Visit Northumberland

Pilgrim's Way - Lindisfarne  Causeway  - credit: Gail Johnson, Visit Northumberland

Pilgrim’s Way – Lindisfarne Causeway – credit: Gail Johnson, Visit Northumberland

 

Creative journey

Lindisferina, Medcaut, Insula Sacre, Holy Island – a place with many names that all conjure up images of mysticism and systems of belief. The island source of The Lindisfarne Gospels has always held a bit of magic for me so I couldn’t have wished for a more inspiring destination.

I began by researching the Isle’s history and its richly illustrated writings. My first focus was the author of the Gospels; they are most commonly attributed to Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne. But pretty quickly I realised it was the island itself that held my fascination. Through the centuries it’s been a sanctuary, workplace, inspirational home, battleground and religious retreat, but due to its location, always and ultimately governed by the sea. The fact it cuts off the rest of the world when the tide comes in makes it all the more elusive and magical.

It’s impossible to separate the sacred words of the Gospels from Holy Island, because they are so much more than just a religious document of man. Every single word and page-mark that survives seems to shout that they’re a testament to the island itself and the protective waters that surround it.

 

    1 Comment

  1. Lovely piece, such an evocative place.

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