The fear of freedom

Is it lonely to stand so tall?
A mountain with nothing, no one else, in its view.
Is it dry to find you have no fear left,
and to know that the length of the universe is nothing but however many steps you take?
Is it terrible to be infinitely alive? 
To have nowhere else, no end, no way to die?
How long,
how long,
how long is it, exactly, to be free?

1912, Gerald E. Jones. The American annual of photography, Tennant and Ward. Harold B. Lee Library via Brigham Young University.


When you live on an island, you inherit a more desperate love for land. 

When you’re surrounded by the sea, you come into close contact with the idea of land being precious and finite. When you’re constantly surrounded by enough raging water to drown everyone and everything you have, you begin to associate land with the idea of the only kind of safety you can have on a rock, circling a star in space at an astounding speed. 

Living on an island makes it hard to forget that the possibility of death is very real, always. 

1420, Taprobane. A collection of maps, in Greek, after Ptolemy’s Geographia. British Library digital collections.