Monday, March 17, 2014

I Remember Ireland

Pictures of pictures of Ireland: 
1) Irish coffee mug: "An Irishman is never drunk 
as long as he can hold on to one blade of grass 
and not fall off the face of the earth."
2) road signs in Ireland; 
3) the wild, western coast of Ireland; 4) Dublin town

Twelve years is a long time to be homesick. I've carried a memory with me that long of green, rolling hills dotted with the clouds of gently baa-ing sheep. All the cliques are true: Ireland the Emerald Isle, 40 shades of green. My first impression of Ireland was of a patchwork quilt, tattered remnants of green ball gowns stitched together with the jagged lines of trees and old rock walls laid by hand, no mortar, no cement.

The rain falls not in buckets or sheets but as sunlight, scarcely noticeable but always leaving a mark on skin and clothes. Instead of darkening, of fading, it leaves a sheen that glistens like mercury and urges you to the nearest pub to stand beside peat hearths. Tea, piping hot, scalding tongue and tooth, black as earth and strong as any stout. Scones (not biscuits) that crumble and leave you wishing it was proper to lick the table clean. And always the faces of a country still in touch with its past, its legends, its stories.

The Irish are born with stories. I think they're made of words. It isn't that they tell them; you aren't inundated with "once upon a time". It's a sort of breathing, the lilting of their voices as they laugh and order another round. Story, not conversation, permeates the air and I drank it until I was drunk and refused to come up from air.

Twelve years since I walked the walls of Derry, since I stood at Yeats' grave and 'cast a cold eye on life'. Twelve years since I saw roses the size of sauces and felt the clouds shed their early morning skins, sifted through streets older than the country in which I dwell. Streets with cobblestones and dirt that could, if coaxed, tell even more stories than those who walk them daily.

Once I went to Ireland, I tell folks, and found my soul. I left it there; it is there it belongs. Homesick I'll stay until we're united again. And I wonder, dear reader, which one of us will be left behind?

Happy Saint Patrick's Day,

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand...
                        ~ W.B. Yeats, The Stolen Child

Thursday, March 13, 2014

And so it begins

I need a little more ink on my fingers.

We write to be heard. We create to be understood. We do both to connect, to create a community around us of like-minded individuals. Though blogging doesn't require ink, it does require vision. Breathing space. Metaphor for life. All come together to form the world of the author's making. It is into my world I invite you, reader. Community cannot exist without company. Here, you are most welcome.

As I breathe onto this page, new life begins. Ideas tumble, dreams flutter and, tentatively, my soul peaks from behind a large book and whispers, "Are we there yet?"

Yes, dear heart, we are. Here. And so are you, dear reader, and for that, I thank you.

Thank you for wandering by, for knocking on the door and giving me a chance.

Though the ornamental pears are in full blossom, the wind still chills as it howls among the pines. Come warm yourself by the fire. Hastings will take your coat and tea is waiting for you in the library.

I hope you can stay and, when you do depart, I hope that you'll return very, very soon. I'm building this Manor from the ground up; please pardon the dust. Once it settles, there will be much to explore. Come back often. The posts will soon begin to pile and the windows flung wide. The curtains will flutter with the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of June bugs will serenade the night. We'll adventure much together: stories and projects and random cups of tea. There's a path outback that leads down to the coast. Once cleared we'll take it past rabbits that dress like Potter's tales and cottages with roses the size of dinner plates. Back at The Manor, a hedgehog does the laundry and a carpenter sets the table for dinner. Oh the conversations we'll have, the things we'll make, the dreams we'll dream. And finally, we'll take those conversations, those snippets of life turned Polaroid, and see how best to set the free into the world. Into the wild.

Welcome to the journey that has been a long time coming. I'm so glad to have you along.

All is well, all is well, and all manner of thing shall be well. ~ Julian of Norwich