We have this weekend off from planned group activities, which doesn't mean we don't have anything to do. We will be taking some long walks around kenmare, going to see the Celtic Tenors this evening and generally enjoying how much better everything tastes over here in Ireland.
Last night was amazing. I've been planning this trip for over three years, gradually piecing together my visions into something that could work. During that time, I read Frank Delaney's Ireland, which gives the best account of the traditional Irish storyteller that I had found, and I wanted to include that in our tour. I did a lot of searching and finally settled on two likely characters. I don't believe any one person could have carried the weight of all the contradictory elements of this Seanachai vision, so I was very fortunate to find both of them. Amantha Murphy is anchors the role of the speaker for the pre-christian, pagan land, filled with goddesses and gods, heros and heroines, everyday wonders and the miracles that arise in every generation. Batt Burns is the quitisential, traditional, hill-walking, brough-talking, condensation of the Catholic Irish, filled with pride in his country and in the people upon whose shoulders he satnds. He is a showman and a bit of a magician, even popping on an old hat and pair of spectacles in order to invoke the character of his own grandfather, from whom he learned the art of the storyteller, as well as many of his stories. Watching Batt yesterday evening, sitting beside the turf fire, just as so many before him, reciting the words of his ancestors, I was struck by how well this vision had come to pass. I leef so much gratitude to all my ancestors and all the other spirits and people who have helped to make this visions real.
After the storyteller left, we went out for a pub crawl. And these were some pubs! We started off with the Wander Inn, where I had a pint of Smithwicks and Patricia a Bulmer's cider. After we finishered there, Patricia and I bowed out and walked over to the food truck to get a cheeseburger and chips. There was an interesting conversation already going on between an older woman and a fellow who looked to be about my own age. She was telling him that he should find himself a good younger woman and get on with life. He said he was a widower these past 11 years and had no interest in trying to find someone to take the place of his wife, though he missed his two sons dearly, both of whom had imegrated illegally to New York. As we tend to do, Patricia and I joined into the conversation and the four of us had a good bit of fun before we finished our food and headed home under a magnificent sky, the towering clouds painted from behind by the light of the full moon.
Meghan sounds like she is stirring and so we will be setting off for a hike soon. I promise to add another post soon. Wishing you all well from here in Ireland.