The picture below is a photograph of a French lighthouse off the coast of Brittany. The photographer, Jean Guichard, is brilliant. Many moons ago, in another lifetime, this print hung on my office wall. At a particularly dark point, I was walking through the mall and found it in one of those funky print stores. I was already crying hysterically, so buying it was an adventure, but it was exactly what I needed.
When I look at this picture, I see survival. This lighthouse, La Jument, stands 300 meters away from the nearest land in the middle of the ocean. It has been in operation since it was activated in 1911. It weathers storms and waves that crash over the top of it’s 157 feet of concrete construction.
I told myself for years, when things would get bad, that I was that lighthouse, and everything else in my life was the wave. Life could beat me, it could push me, it could wash over me, but it would not destroy me.
In my many moves since then, I have lost this print. I would like to have it back, because life is trying to wash over me again and I need the reminder.
Sunday Morning Shoals
If your life is on an even keel,
Said the preacher man,
Had better watch out.
they are a’coming.
Waves are all I’ve ever known, I thought.
I could teach You about waves.
How to ride them,
how to stand against them,
How to be a
holding your own
when the waves
over your head.
How to breathe
after you drown.
I’m drowning. Perhaps it’s time to be a mother fucking lighthouse one more time.