I’m just back from a retreat in Brittany – a wonderful, mysterious land – where I came once again to stand before the massive broken menhir in Locmariaquer by the dolmen known as the Table des Marchands. The broken menhir is a huge single stone, 330 tons, 20 metres high, erected in around 45 – 4700 BC alongside 18 other standing stones. It fell in about 4000 BC and you can now see it lying on the ground.
It lies beside the Table des Marchands Dolmen. The capstone of that is made up of one section of another giant broken menhir. A second section has been recycled as a capstone for the nearby Er Grah tumulus. But then they dragged a third massive chunk 4 kms away to use as the capstone for the incredible Gavrinis monument, now marooned on an island in France’s biggest inland sea in the Gulf of Morbihan.
The stone originally was quarried 18kms away I believe. At the visitor centre you can buy a replica of all three sections re-assembled. One of these stands on my desk. Note the druid going about his business quietly in front of the stone, which demonstrates how truly vast the stone is (that’s a joke – the Getafix is not to scale!)
I think we are often fascinated by these old sites because we can’t fully understand them. We love mystery. We will never know why the builders felt the need to erect such massive stones, why the nearby stones at Carnac number over 3,000 and are arranged in straight rows for miles across the landscape. Any behaviour that is unfathomable is to a certain extent fascinating for us, and each of us will perhaps have different areas of the Unknown, the Unfathomable that call to us. For some, the darkness a cave offers is an enticement to explore, for others it will be the Mysteries of Outer Space, the ocean, our relationship with other levels of consciousness, the often unfathomable nature of human motivation or psychology. The prize is greater understanding, but deep down, I believe, we treasure the unfathomable because we know that it stretches on forever, and therefore represents infinity and eternity – endless possibility and potential.