Thursday, August 2, 2012

Suffering from Islomania....

Lawrence Durrell with his wonderful wit and insight wrote:

“…I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these there occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit. There are people…who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. These born “islomanes”…are direct descendants of the Atlanteans”  (From  his "Reflections of a Marine Venus")

I wondered if the word isolated comes from the word "island". So I looked it up. It comes from French isolé, from Italian isolato, from Latin insulatus (made into an island), from insula meaning island.

That's what I have, I think. Islomania. I like being alone (isolated at times) and I love islands. When I was very young I read many fiction and non-fiction books about islands. There is a small island off the tip of our peninsula where my parents built their summer log cabin. I respect and love that untidy wild island. Our loon nests on it every year, and so we rarely go there for fear of disturbing the loons and other wading birds. But we see it every day. And watch over it.

I found the old spectacles that started me off as a writer on that island - while cleaning up the area which had been used as a dump by early campers - and from those frail worn spectacles my first novel "Who is Frances Rain" evolved.

This is our island taken from my shore one misty morning last week.

Photo by Margaret Buffie

The island in a few of its many moods below - it always reminds me of a galleon that never moves from its moorings, yet, in turn, watches over us every day and night, while we play and sleep.


Photo by Margaret Buffie


Photo by Margaret Buffie

Photo by Margaret Buffie


Photo by Margaret Buffie


Monica Kulling said...

I always enjoy reading your thoughts, M. Have a grand time on your island this long weekend. Love, m

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous images! You're right, the one photo does make it look like a galleon.

A friend has an island which is her retreat from the world, so I guess you'd call her an islomaniac. I love the way you traced its roots. :)

Margaret Buffie said...

Sadly, the north side of the island, partly shown in the first photo, was hit with an enormous gale wind in a massive storm when we were in the city -- and about 1/4 of the trees (the soil was incredibly dry after a long drought and could not hold the roots stable on the rocks) fell into the centre of the island leaving a huge uprooted area along the shoreline. The south side is the view I see from my side of the penisula. No doubt, in time, those trees will offer much needed soil for the little island, but it was very very sad to see the destruction. There are some things we can't change in our care of the island. And this is one of them. Sigh.

Margaret Buffie said...

We're back for awhile. Had a great week with the family. Thanks, m!

Karyn Huenemann said...

There was an island off Tofino for sale last time we were there... we spent hours trying to imagine a way to survive financially if we bought it and moved to the wilds, with only a kayak to get to "town," such as it is... Sadly, I am writing from Vancouver...