Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thoughts from the Peninsula

Yes, that says Telemachus. Today is Telemachus' 3rd birthday so even though I am very far away from him, I found it an appropriate time to write his name in the sand somewhere near Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula.

Happy birthday, Telemachus. I know you can't quite read or even understand why your mother has left you for five weeks, but I love you, love you, love you.

Kelli and I have been having a great time. We have invented two clever games. One of the games is called Quicksand and is pictured above. The object is to see who can sink the deepest without being swallowed. The other game is called Jellyfish. This game requires that you run towards a jellyfish. Whoever gets the closest without getting stung is the winner. Jellyfish is a bit tricky because of the rough waves. You must get as close as possible to the blobs of blue tentacles before a wave thrashes the beast against your Ohio leg.

I have not written much, but I picked up three books yesterday (great way to make the backpack heavier) that are absolute treasures. All of the books are by Blasket Island writers. The Great Blasket is an island where people lived practically untouched from the modern world until 1953 when the remaining 20 people or so were evacuated. The books I picked up were written in Irish around the beginning of the 20th century and translated into English around the middle of the century. One of them (the name escapes me this very moment) is written by the last poet to leave The Great Blasket.

What strikes me as haunting about these books is that when these people were writing them they knew that their way of life was diminishing. Every sentence is smeared with a sense of loss. The sea gave them life yet also imprisoned them in some ways.

I have been trying to take a boat to The Great Blasket Island, but the wind has been too harsh. Tomorrow is my last shot. Wish me luck. I need to see where these people lived.


Maggie May said...

fascinating book finds, i'd be in heaven.

i recently found an old, dinky bookstore that smells like pee and houses a treasure trove of old books. after buying a stack, the lady GAVE me a book from the early 1900's written entirely in Russian and inside was a newspaper clipping from that time with a recipe circled- i could tell it was a recipe strangely enough, some of the words just made sense.

Frank (the Colt) said...

hey buddy. Looks like fun. Miss you.

RJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RJ said...

Wish I was on some foreign beach right now. Only the waves of my dismay wash over me currently. Looks beautiful and I am endlessly jealous of you right now. But a poet need only one good hand and inspiration, so I feel half-way to that golden moment. Just somehow these artificial rays against my even more artificial dwelling like covering never seem to match what you're feeling, or the way I've once felt when I fled south for the winter. Once more, quite jealous and envious, but it's almost May, so let the 'dis' drop and let the showers come to bring hope of flowers in some futuristic moment. Enjoy those golden woven fabrics upon your face for me. -RJ/half drunken cyborg. (I fail at spelling sometimes)