Island Time

Danny & Jacob recapped our first day on Inishbofin!

We hiked to the beautiful beaches of Inishbofin to sea what we could see! Our writing was inspired by the vast landscapes around us, and we encountered many animal friends along the way.

One adorable canine followed BJ’s group on their trek to the beach, and joined us as we took in the view there! Quite the energetic explorer.

Many students were enchanted by the view of the beaches, and incorporated that into today’s writing. This piece by Anna describes the feeling of being on the beach with a bittersweet tone…

To Lose the Good Things Time and Time Again

“You beckoned me here, with your snout and your ears waving high, your tail wagging fast and your eyes telling me you can bring me somewhere time will last longer.

 You tell me there is an eternity in waiting.

I followed you to the tie-dye sheep and the swan; the ocean waved at me, its friendly hands outstretched. And the seaweed clobbered at my feet.

The shells I stole, the sea I took with me; afraid that it would not last. How fast it seems to go, how sad it seems to be where the ocean tides wash in my smile leaves me lost at sea.”

 …while this piece by Danny explores the feeling of being a very small creature in a very vast universe.


“It’s strange to remember that none of the landscapes that I could create in my mind’s eye could ever compare to the ones that I am seeing right now.

Yes, I can imagine an ocean so big it spans galaxies, but I will never be able to truly see it, to touch it, to let its persistent waves lap at my toes and make me realize, in one sweeping moment, that its magnitude will never be something that I can fully comprehend.

I will never be able to climb my mental mountains or explore my imaginary islands and have them make me feel the way I am feeling now, small and insignificant in the eyes of the universe, but in awe that I am a part of it, in awe that we have been spending thousands of years seeking, searching, and unlocking the secrets that this planet holds, and it’s still only the fifth largest in our solar system.

An insect scales my fingertips, which are surely insurmountable in its eyes, and I am aware of how insignificant it is in my own. It is only when it is skittering about that its tiny form just barely registers enough to enter my field of awareness, and immediately, it is at my mercy. I could watch it struggle its way across my hand, becoming a detached, amused onlooker, or I could end its life in an instant, forgetting that I ever saw it after committing the deed.

If this is how one might view a bug, how might the most powerful creatures in the universe – if they exist – look down upon us? Are they amused? Do they find us boring and tiresome? Will they wipe us out once they stop being entertained? Just as the insect scuttled across my finger, could the rock I’m sitting on be the finger of a great beast? To a creature like myself, so small and unnecessary, the otherworldly answer might just exceed my comprehension entirely.

I’ve always wondered how much space I take up, and the fact that the answer is “in the grand scheme of things, none at all,” is both so beautiful and so terrifying.

They say that something as trifling as a butterfly could cause a tornado with a mere flap of its wings,

and if that’s true,

how loudly will I have to shout until the ears of the cosmos hear my interstellar, existential scream?”

As our first day on island time, students spent time getting adjusted to their new lodgings. Shower pressures, mattresses, and hand cooked panini were among many of today’s adventures.

Beatrix, panini expert, described the experience. “It was a mess,” she recounted, “Butter did not make it better.”

However, despite the struggles that came with being in a new setting, a new friend and leader joined our group and used her wisdom to help carry us through. Alden Jones, a published and highly regarded author, is granting the Putney students her support and helping us to strengthen our writing. She raffled off her book, The Blind Masseuse, a collection of essays and stories about her time in Costa Rica, and Mackenzie was lucky enough to win it.

We’re grateful for the exciting new scenery of Inishbofin and the supportive presence of Alden. Now the Putney crew is ready for a new adventure!