There’s something about staring out to sea that slows one’s breathing, and no matter how rough the sea is, the mind calms, ideas stir, if you happen to be with someone, easy conversation flows. I was sitting on a bench yesterday, looking out to sea, friend beside me, take away coffees, scones in brown paper … Continue reading If I Knew Then
I’m so glad I don’t love cars. It must be a blight, a curse on one’s life to feel the pressure of wanting, of needing to drive something sleek and fast and fancy. If – Janis Joplin style – the Lord were to buy me a Mercedes Benz, I would thank him and accept it, but having … Continue reading Who’s Going To Drive You Home?
Over four nights, I read The Old Man and The Sea to the two brothers, twenty-five pages before they went to bed. I did wonder at their eyes staring into corners of the room, seeming to follow spiders, or shadows, sometimes a hand reaching absently for another Ginger Snap. Were they listening at all, or were they … Continue reading Destroyed but Not Defeated
Five people holding hands and dancing in a circle. Dance (La Danse) is a 1910 painting by Matisse. The bodies are painted red, they dance on a mound of green, the backdrop behind them (sky?) is blue, and they are naked. The colours are vibrant – two primary colours, one secondary – and the simple, primitive style … Continue reading Gotta Dance
Do you ever see beauty in something that is not conventionally beautiful?
I visited Heaney’s grave with my friend last week. First, we went to The Homeplace, the arts centre in Bellaghy that celebrates his poetry. I’d been before and I love it. Loved seeing how a poem moves through multiple iterations of scoring and scribbles and shifting around before he gets to something he’s happy with. … Continue reading Seamus Heaney’s Grave
‘Bomb the hill, bomb the hill!’ He scoots off. ‘What’s he saying?’ I ask the dad. ‘He’s saying he wants to bomb the hill.’ So, I had heard correctly. ‘He’s two years old and can barely say my name, but he can say ‘bomb the hill’? You need to go to parenting classes. What does … Continue reading Bomb Hills Not Countries
There are four of them in the shed. For nine months of the year, they languish, the cobwebs build until May or June when they are taken out, one by one – rickety, arthritic, creaking – and are wheeled around the back lawn like an invalid in rehab. An assessment of what needs done to … Continue reading Eight Wheels
I am walking along the West Strand when the sight of two couples playing frisbee unlocks a memory. Down it falls from the sky, unbidden, a moment I did not know I had filed away. It plays out like a film; so like a film that I wonder if it is my memory at all … Continue reading Frisbee
Heat shimmers on the ocean and the ferry pulls away from the land and dolphins dive the length of Lough Ryan only to disappear when we reach the wide-open Irish Sea. Once docked, I drive to the Antrim coast, arriving before dark, dizzy from not having drunk enough water on the journey and I fall … Continue reading July Holidays