The Westernesse of Eire

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The Westernesse of Eire

Who looks outside dreams,who looks inside awakens.

(Carl Jung)

So awaken to the dreaming of Eire

Into the darkness with a driving rain following the pin on a mobi to god knows where,

then off a road and down an incline to a lost stone sanctuary with walls three feet thick

and a little fire, smiling happy people

company, good company

a glass or two and a smoke, talking into the night about anything and everything

we go from birth place to faerie, from song to duende.

I awake at sunrise to see the pink hues of limestone and slate built barns

glowing with the first light of a couple of days.

I step up the incline fascinated by the cold, wetness of the rock formations, the intricate web of grasses, flowers and limestone shards underfoot and arriving at the ever meandering stone sided roads,

in the distance the slither of sunrise illuminates the beautiful green stonewalled patchwork that is Moy.

Bracing against the cold, cool wind as I step up the hill

I turn a corner and meet a full vista of the Atlantic

in all its greyness and spot a wave by the reef yonder.

The Greys and the Greens and the bright blues of the infinite sunny autumnal skies.

The water is aquamarine blue and green fading to grey.

I find Dolphin Dreaming on the boat from Dúlainn to Inis Oirr.

Alighting in cold water perfection and wandering the labyrinth of limestone walls,

each with its own design and each constructed in differing patterns,

the signature of each artisan’s individuality.

The water is aquamarine blue and green fading to grey.

I’ve walked over the piles of weather polished round rocks like sand dunes carved of rock,

smoothed and rounded by time. Jumping from rock to rock with the occasional loggin rock that tips, springs or sways on alighting, a loggin gait ; the sound of the great ocean draws me like pulling on a rope of aqua-light from the pit of my stomach I see an endless reef and look for a swimming spot by a 40 meter long slab of natural limestone there is a break in the reef and the isle rounds to the lee side harbour and here I find aquamarine grey and green crystal clear stuff of my dreams with a smoothed rock underfoot that looks like sand ‘neath the undulating rhythm of swell and wave.

Naked I enter the cold embrace and memories of cold water flow through me, tightening my skin,

honing my mind and quickening my spirit.

Underwater the crystal clear view of the shelving smooth sand like rock disappears into a chasm of indigo blue.

One more plunge and it’s to Ned’s for a pint as the sun grows in strength and warms through to the bone.

The cold water seeming to warm the body and the sun to warm the bone,

A triangular monument to those lost at sea, Seamus reads out the carved Gaelic inscription, an intonation of the memory to the lost at sea, in the centre of that piece a hole through which one can spy sea and sky and carved in the form of the barrel of a wave, the curragh made from ash, covered in canvas and sealed with tar: they fight for their lives in the storm sea focusing on a lee shelter if God willing they make it this time.

An upturned curragh in need of repair sits on the stones by lobster pots and discarded fridges converted to a store and the plastic barrels amid the nets waiting for the out of tourist season fishing and the community closes in to survive another 5 or 7 months of rain and storm.

I drink deep of the air of that place and sip whiskey on the sun warmed limestone wall at the end of the limestone walled garden at Ned’s.

A pod of dolphins escorts us back to the mainland and Duganna Dúlainn and the Dolphin Dreaming come to fruition

A shaggy cow masticates facing against the wind and a backdrop of the Ailte an Mhóire

magnificent there and shaded from the clouds.

How many tones of grey are there in this world of grey and green changing the colours to a mix-match of autumnal hues and through the veil of Samhain there lies the grey rock of The Burren

casting its enchantment and seeking its own solitude

I retire to mine foregoing Eagle Rock to honour the Goddess one more time.

From out of the greyness comes the inspiration to find a session somewhere.

The national Bank Holiday hangover giving us a portal of intimacy in Dúlainn we find mandocello, bodhran and eilleann pipes no less than Blackie O’Connell from Innis, in the last three tunes of the last set where mind and heart become as one, a quick conversation, a scattered melody, the plan is 16 bars laid out on the pipes then let the rhythm fly in impossible symmetrical patterns of altered logic and finally raising to the minor and impossible cascades of euilleann

cadenzas till the final phrase and the home chord; the crown goes wild having sat in silence and now I’m aware of the others and the fact that for three tunes we had all been as One.

“ I’m upright and I’m breathing and I don’t give a shite beyond that to be honest:

Random Ghaeilge (Galwegian) in Shop Street.

By the full flowing waters of the Abhainn na Gaillimhe (River Corrib) in Galway Town

lies the canal, still and clear waters coloured sepia by the turf

There is a stretch of green green grass

where lives a man in a tent

Who lights his fire between two waters

Just by the heart of Galway Town.

Like lines from the dreaming paintings of home

the un-illuminated city lights hang over

in festoons above Shop Street

singled out against sky and grey wet buildings.

A low hub and bustle throbs away there

against the sonic landscape of buskers,

boys on banjo’s playing tunes

and Gaeilge (Irish) baritones crooning to guitars

in the chill autumn dusk.

The sunsets over Bá na Gaillimhe (Galway Bay)

and between the worlds

of night and day

people slip into Tigh Neachtain”s for a pint

and the buskers are warmed up for the session.

The merman and the moonbeam, entwined in the dreamtime we are, the Gaeilge in you setting my story in the land of your fathers, your great great great grandmother Annie Bergen smiles, I want to take you to Corcaigh (Cork) and An Boirne (The Burren).

How I love to take new roads, entwined in our dreaming

Gazing out at the last quarter

after the rains cold silvering

I think of you gazing at

the sun rise

Asleep in your warrior way

Making do with your

love light burning,

I sense our joint longing.

A duo of beckoning,

a call of

The heart strings

A sympathy of belonging

keeping the majick

I sit in Baile na Gaillimhe (Galway Town)

You in Middle Pocket

Two moons align in Joy.

So I step out into the garden in the dead of the night,

beginning of the year

feeling the new beginnings

seeing the old familiar

stars traversing the sky

the plough, the pole star

sitting there, just where they’ve always been.

Past the house of the dirty little fuck bird heading for number 2 Sea Road

Sarah and I attend one last session; at The Crane

where old and new meet

Dolores O’Riordan and the Tuppenny Bit.

Dolphins is sung and Tim Buckley is now in the dreaming

juxtaposed with The rakes of Kildare and the Crested Hen.

I think back on the sessions from the last few days

and always return to the euilleann pipes from Dúlainn,

The player from Innis

etched on my brain

such dedication, such bliss

he turns his head and digs in deep……

Listening to the sound of the whistle

I hear a haunting melody

that’s so familiar.

Over and over again

he plays his tune

in the freezing indigo gloaming.

He has nothing to offer but his tune

He’s seen the best days and now this is now,

Yet he stands and he breathes

into his whistle, the life blood

of his country soul

repeating the line in ever changing cycles

Each phrase perfected

each time a little more,

a squeak here

a cran there

the tone gets purer,

a little money reassures the will,………a faith

of sorts

He finds his stillness

in the tone

repeating the line

as I flanneur away

to the dwindling sound of his


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jem edwards

About the Author: jem edwards

producer, writer NSW

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