The Marginal Way: Word & Picture Musings

A blog by Jane Dougall.

It has taken me awhile to get here. There were pictures, a large backlog in computer files, years of love in the form of images. Then there was a growing desire to write, a memoir class filled with earnest surprises, and new contacts with people who put novels or poems or advice on paper or on screens. There was the memory of an inspirational blog written by someone from my academic past, hauntingly beautiful, filled with observations of birds about which she knew so much. I thought “someday…”.

This seems like such a wondrous opportunity, to share some of those images along with the thoughts that arise mid-night, and to combine these things in a form that does not require paper. Again, the discovery of magic, so like what I felt when I first used a digital camera and realized the delights of an environmentally sound delete button.

If you have come to take a look or come back for another, bless you. Please feel free to comment or critique.

You are most welcome here.


Here is the first post explaining “The Marginal Way”. To see other blog posts, click on “Menu” then on “Blog Posts” under the banner photograph.

#1 Marginal.


On the edge of something.

On the fringe of consciousness.

The space where land meets the sea.

A walk along the ocean in Ogunquit, Maine.

The longing for expression seems inherently human. Now, in the age of social media overload, it gushes from every keyboard. And still, mine wants a small space, a way to think out loud, to give small observations breathing room.

It’s the middle of a rare warm night. The ocean’s incoming tide lets out an occasional whomp as the angle of a bigger wave strikes the rocks that look like petrified wood  (a form of shale containing mica and quartzite) otherwise there is the usual, fairly loud, swooshing that you’d expect so close to the water when it’s possible to leave the windows open at bedtime. The moon, just past full and still shining,  spreads a path on black water enough to light the room a bit.

It is completely clear to me that coming to live in this space, on this margin, was aided by non-corporeal assistance. There was lots of earth-based human help as well of course. The challenge in having arrived here is to use the energy imbued in where the land meets the sea in this sacred time, this margin of old age and its transition from life to … whatever lies after the known has gone. I’ve spent most of my adult life musing about life after death and have had the privilege of being in the presence of a few of the great minds who have been examining this topic in deep and scholarly ways. More recently have been classes–parts I and II–on Consciousness which is like splashing about in a delightful pool, exhilarating and fun and profound.

Lifelong learning is not an oxymoron.

2 thoughts on “The Marginal Way: Word & Picture Musings

  1. Where do we get a lift in life? Where is the profound abundant? Where is the beauty so consuming that our minds are stunned by it’s brilliance? And the answer is, of course, before us. For some of us,it takes, mind poets, llike yourself, to bring to life, it’s depth.


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