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Poetic Lighthouse Log Page



In Pieces of My Sister's Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold, I read and enjoyed an excerpt from a lighthouse log that was so poetic I fell in love with it. (I am assuming it is a "real" person's log, but the book is fiction, so maybe not.)

As the winter solstice approaches, the Beast of the Atlantic Nor'Easter awakes, like the Vampire rising from dormancy, to menace our Island. It revives itself, siphoning the last dregs of heat energy from the ocean surface and alchemizing it with the briny spray, to make prodigious sheets of rain and winds of frightful power. Aye, it is physically manifest, like a monstrous Steam Engine, but this Devil's spawn also has an immanent cunning, its capacity to addle the great ocean, the exercise of its winds to set the Sea churning upon herself. The Beast's foul breath goads her skin into dips and swirls, eddies and vortices, which agitate the reposeful depths, and they rise up in protest. Unaccustomed to the surface, and buffeted by the Beast's winds, the depths rapidly lose their equilibrium. As back falls upon forth, to lashes fro, the roiling becomes a full-scale riot; and the Sea loses all providence of her own natural ebb and flow.

With the Sea in its claw, the Beast unleashes the Tides onto our shores. Screaming gales pour through our very souls, as the Beast prepares to devour the Island wholly, like Jonah was swallowed by the Great Fish. Aye, but the Beast is an evil and diabolical one. At the brink of our Armageddon, the Beast relents suddenly, as if relishing the promise of another violation of its wretched victim.

Whence the Beast continues towards the Mainland, it does not yet glance aback at the destruction it hath wrought. But the Sea, our life's blood and earthly salvation, she will return to us as she has for perpetuity, and we shall forgive her with no conditions.

Thomas Rathburn
Southeast Lighthouse Log
Block Island
December, 1798
Tags: quotation
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