A Pretty Lady Plans The Garden

Sligo-  Travel brings a sense of uncontrolled euphoria coupled with a sweet smile from the unknown.  It is an addiction that leaves you lost, as many do.  Fortunately, I don’t know of any serious health issues that come with a natural influx of dopamine, except coming down from it I suppose.   It is a good thing that The Sun Also Rises.

Home becomes just a feeling.  I find that growing a garden grounds me.  You start with the soil, rich and complete.  Well, it is a good idea to lay down some seaweed as the professionals have come to know.  Carney’s very own Bug Hotel reminds me of all the small creatures that gardeners need.

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Last year I took on a large plot to which I am forever grateful.  Potatoes, onions, garlic, kale, spinach and two raspberry bushes brought a sense of confidence to my we personality, riddled with guilt.  IMG_8550.JPG

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Now, I will start growing just what I like.  Not to say potatoes aren’t a joy in their floury, buttery, creamy goodness, they totally are! especially when shared between neighbors, but they require more space.  I have moved house and a quaint timber planter awaits.  I decided what to plant but we will see if my brown thumbs can make it green.

Finished Girl on A Train by Paula Hawkins and I must say it was crazier than I.  However, I do love Emily Blunt and I recommend watching A Quiet Place which did give me quite a thrill.

 

 

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When God Says I Love You

Mullaghmore, An Mullach Mór– A spring day greets us with a full day of sunshine along the Wild Atlantic Way. There is a strand nearby that is a protected use area, a sharehold for farmers. I walk through the green pasture, up over the dunes and to my surprise a man walks up to me, completely nude. I never knew how to get here, but I’ve always wanted to go.

“Hello!”

“Hi,” I reply, wishing I too was naked.

I big smile.

A lovely day to see a middle aged man romping around the beach, like a dog playing in the surf. I admit, I had done research on this topic months ago but when it comes to my adventures, I’d rather stumble upon them versus forcing it, as this tactic always implodes (although I still do it sometimes). The beach, like many along the north west coast is isolated, underpopulated and serves as medicine for my soul.

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Continuing along, the nude dude seems to be away from his compatriots who keep to themselves down by the rocky bits.

A true wild man, away from his pack.

I once read that people with ADD or hyperactivity serve their tribe because they go beyond the boundaries, to explore the world and then report back what they see.

I worry that I will impinge on these free spirits by taking photos, so I try not to point. I won’t say that I didn’t get completely naked and go for a dip but I will say, I’m from Florida and it’s still March. I wander down the beach and back to climb the highest dune.

Yer man kept appearing like those arcade games where you have to hit the weasel. There he was lounging in the tall grass. He was so thrilled with himself, legs outstretched, hands tucked neatly behind his head, smiling into the sun.

Don’t swim here because it is very dangerous, but we know you will, so take this ring buoy, please don’t call for the helicopter, we told you so.IMG_3614

You missed my St.Patrick’s Day post because sharing is hard, it is still here. And if you want to see Mullaghmore on a normal day (the clothed beach) when it is dangerous/my writing was much worse, go here.

Listening to Gavin James “Bitter Pill” LOUD because it is the perfect segue for anyone trying to get over a piece of themselves and because he sounds like Hozier but with short hair.

Still alive and well in me Granny Flat.

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Churchill

 

Let me shock you in a million ways

my heart beats deep like a hole the dog digs.

Rose hips, hibiscus, I serve up passion in a cup

drink.it.up.

 

I lie here in my single bed staring,

my hands clenched, I am tied.

My knees bent up towards my chest,

I haven’t seen myself in years.  I am contracted.

 

I get distracted. Unable to eat,

I can’t speak. If only, for a moan or a blink when

the man comes in to me, dosing me up.

I am sleeping through this season.

 

My family brings photos of us, all around my room.

They pause from their pleasantries, for I cannot. Shovel food into my mouth.

The energy electric,

I shall burn out.

Connacht Gold

Sligo- When I was a schoolgirl, an Irishman stared into me and asked,

“Haley, can you tell someone you love them with your eyes?” I stared right back into him with a gentle reply,

“Yes, you can.”

It was unlikely that I had kept up with the readings he assigned but I knew something about the character of Hester Prynne.  It was my wild eyes and not my wit that got me through a vast amount of formal education.  I revel in my unlearning.

Photo on 2009-09-21 at 23.08

8 jaars ago

For St Patrick’s I decided to honour the Queen of Connacht with a we hill walk.

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Benbulben from Knocknarea

The north west of Ireland has a dense concentration of megaliths.  These can include dolmens, cairns or burial grounds. Bones, tools, white quartz and beads are often found during the excavations of these sacred sites.

I walk the 40 minutes up to see the Queen, who was said to be married many times.

These could be actual marriages or ritual weddings wherein kings would symbolically marry the “one who intoxicates and brings great joy,” Maev, Meadhbh, Méabh, medu, mead, St.Patrick’s Day, male dominated debauchery, nuns marrying Jesus- see where this is going?

Anywho, I am no historian.

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I make it to the top and around the cairn (this is one of three potential burial sites so it may just be a pile of lucky rocks, who.knows.) I find myself walking down the path into Maev’s Forest.  On a previous night walk up Benbulben a fella told me that the English cut down all the trees here.

So now, you will find these little pockets where the people have attempted regrowth and they are called forests.

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Once down the opposite side I continue into the village of Strandhill. When you use google maps here, hitchhiking time is estimated which I find hilarious and quite comforting now that I am far from my car.

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I arrive at Hangar 1 of the old airport, The Strandill Markt. There I meet my friend Sarah of the Black Sheep Bakery with Larry her mascot. We are friends at our day jobs wherein I go to her and complain, she laughs and then we drink tea.

I stop by the Sushi Sisters serving it up to the hipsters of Sligo.  I enjoy seeing the movement of a country, refining simplicity and up for anything.  With my father’s words buzzing in my brain I continue on my way.

He has always told me to follow my heart.  Recently he has added “and stay attractive.”

I will take a holistic approach to this advice as it serves me best.  He sends me a selfie from a ski lift in Taos.

Maev

Queen Maev by JC Leyendecker

Whatsapp has informed me that it will save all of my voice recordings to my Gmail account. Why? My data footprint will now consist of an 80/20 blend of appropriate and inappropriate images, epic anti-intellectual monologues and a blog about the possibility of being me.

As always thank you for your time, continue wasting it, and read this week’s poem.

All the Lines of Her Face

Sligo- I have joined a writer’s group. We meet in the Yeat’s memorial building with books so dear, nobody has been let in for decades. As I sit, I wait. I yearn to sniff the books locked behind the glass. I meet my cohorts, four, 40-50 year-old writers. I write my poem in the spirit of showing up, but I let a man read it aloud. Tonight, I read it to you.

I skate along the jagged peaks of my mind.

I skate for you, searching for that familiar song.

I skate in places I should not go, tempt me.

I skate for my mother so she can cheer me on.

I skate for my brother, his fears released.

I skate in and out, and up and down.

I skate. I could skate forever.

I skate to a cafe for a nice cup of tea.

I skate, so I breath deeply. My breath is your breath.

I skate until there is no warmth in my hands or in my feet.

I skate in the forest through the trees and I listen.

I skate through the wind, through the rain.

I get on the ice.

To skate.

Poem meet portrait. The more beauty within a person, the harder it is to capture them. A piece of her soul, her energy lives here with me now in my little place by the sea and we listen to Ray LaMontagne’s debut album and drink red wine and do all the things that good sisters do. Some critiques say that you can’t paint a portrait from a photo because you cannot capture the person’s essence. Well, they can go away. Others say that the real painting is found in the palette which in some strange abstract subconscious alternative universe, is the waar.

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Looking forward to St.Paddy’s, a national holiday that is celebrated around the world. The Irish get the award for best traveled, best sense of humor and for having pride without imperialism.

Currently listening to

First Aid Kit “Ruins”

Goooooodnight.

Florida Girls

Amsterdam- Oscar season, art and self-care teach me how to play.  I enjoy visiting a city I know so well.

Conditioned for sex, I wrote-in The Florida Project for best picture. The main characters engaged, Mooney and Halley.  The ghetto queen myth, debunked. Animatism (also seen in Two Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,) sexualism, no boundaries, Dafoe delivers like a love stain.  Better Than Sex.

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Medical doctor and photographer Erdal Kinaci’s The Third Eye captivates me. Sensitive and raw, pretend to not see (read Blindness, Jose Gonzalez-don’t watch the film, ugh).  This is 1/100 and I am terrified to bring her home.

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The canals did freeze and we lived in a painting for a day. People enjoy being in places they normally wouldn’t be, walking on water.  The joy and safety in that, is enough for me to keep going.

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See you in Sligo.

PS Frances is the real AmWo

Cheeky Monkey

Amsterdam- I rise with the screeching of the tram wheels. I promise a friend I will advise the instructor.

“Can I practice in my underwear?”

I purchase a pair of yoga pants made entirely from recycled hot plastic. Class begins. I laugh a lot. My thoughts entertain me. I take sips of air until I can deepen my breath again.

My next stop is Keren de Vreede’s gallery on the Prinsengracht. I ask Ido for a tissue and I ask for the name of the piece.

“Noa.”

“I’ve never done this before,” I say.

“Well, think about it.”

I shuffle down the gracht into de Jordaan and stoppen into Rosereijn for a thee. I buy a map of the world. Now, to see a friend.

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A beautifully built man with the eyes of royalty is in soft light.

“Goedemiddag” I say stepping into the groene doored garage.

He replies, but I do not understand him.

“No spreckt Nederlands, Anglaise astublief.”

At the time I met him on Overtoom he invited me for thee in the jardin.

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I didn’t take one then, but I will take one now. He leads me up the stairs.

“We did yoga on the beds.”

I leave him.

Back out into the wild winds. I finish my shopping in Nieuwmarkt and take the tram to Museumplein. I know Roy will be there.  Did you know Dali has a cookbook?

I am in love again.