Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Into The White

By stepping into the coracle that bore
him beyond the horizon (into exile),
(St. Columba) entered the Irish pantheon
of heroes who had done immortal deeds
against impossible odes. As he sailed off
that morning, he was doing the hardest thing
an Irishman could do, a much harder thing
than giving up his life: he was leaving Ireland.
If the Green Martyrdom ((of forest exile))
has failed, here was a martyrdom that was
surely the equal of the Red ((the traditional,
bloody martyrdom)); and henceforth, all
who followed Columcille’s lead were called
to the White Martyrdom, they who sailed
into the white sky of morning, into the unknown,
never to return.

-- Thomas Cahill, How The Irish Saved Civilization


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