I’ve mentioned this before, but my current travel obsession is the UK, and lately it’s expanded to include Ireland. Aside from my mild obsession with Celtic Thunder, I adore the work of William Butler Yeats – his belief in the possibility of the supernatural so strong one can’t help but agree with him, one can’t help but think that, perchance, the finches flocking to her backyard are there because they know how happy they make her husband, and did that small one just wink at her?
So there’s Yeats, of course, himself having grown up in County Sligo, near Strandhill and surfing and the Warrior’s Run, which I’d like to do if I ever happen to find myself on the coast of Ireland in late August.
But there’s more. There’s the lushness, the saturation of color and Earth and culture. It seems one can’t escape Ireland in Ireland, whereas one can barely find American culture in parts of this country. Christ, I grew up in a place where half the population handles snakes and speaks in tongues.
Ok, not really.
But that’s about it. Other than petting the dogs, climbing a little bit and doing some yoga, I’ve mostly been reading about Northern Ireland (fantastic Smithsonian article about the same) and the tenuous peace there…thinking about how lucky I am that I’ve never been targeted because of my beliefs or my last name or the street on which I live. It’s so far out of my realm of understanding – the unyielding tension that must come with such strife. And yet, for decades, the violent, tireless terrorism that has plagued Northern Ireland has been called, simply, "the troubles." Like, the guy at the petrol station in Derry should ask, "Well, having a bit of trouble with your car, so you are?" Or the guy in the surf shop in Strandhill should comment, "Having a wee bit of trouble on the white horses, aye?" But nothing, it seems, it too horrifying for the Irish to make quaint. I love that. I guess that's how they sleep at night. Like Julie, my favrite yoga teacher, mentioned recently: "Yeah, it's hot in this room, but you can't do anything about it, so why waste energy thinking about it?"
All this makes me think of a recent Onion headline, “Vacation to Israel Cancelled due to History of Israel.” That of course, reminds me of others, including one from Ireland, “Bar Fight Entering Third Year.”
Ah, I know I’m failing you, readers. I haven’t been keeping up with this blog, and when I do, it’s not really to impart anything super worthy or recall a cool trip; it’s just sort of, well, blahheresalltheboringstuffonmymindblah.
The truth? I’m actually writing a ton—for work, of course, but also personal stuff: poems, essays, spec articles. I’m not sharing that work here, though, because I’m not totally comfortable with it yet. I don’t know quite why. And as for the lack of trip reports, well, I’ve been a homebody lately, choosing to pore over maps and guidebooks that will lead to future big trips rather than driving 6 hours to climb for a day and a half before driving 6 hours back home. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a phase.
On another note? My garden is growing! I'll post pictures soon.