Watch it.


Great movie. Great cinematography. Great music. Must watch. Thank you Susan.

Sunday Morning

I don’t believe in religion, but the aesthetics of Catholicism have stuck with me. I love the way church incense coats my hair and skin. It is a safe smell, like a blanket… I envy the faithful. There are shrines dotted around the hillsides here in Ireland, places where saints have supposedly appeared and healed the sick. There are wells of holy water and statues in the rocks, huts filled with prayer cards and gardens filled with painted stones in memory of loved ones who have passed away. I like to visit them occasionally. I sit in the stillness and observe people crying and praying and I close my eyes and try to let some of their hope get carried on the air and through my pores. I would like to believe that everything is accounted for, that there is life after this one, and that all of our decisions hold some kind of significance or moral worth. There is weight in religion. It is an anchor of sorts.

~ Jessica Andrews, Saltwater: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 14, 2020)


Notes: Photo: Patryk Sadowski with Church of Ireland

Today’s Forecast: 90% Probability of Rain

Nobody in Faha could remember when it started. Rain there on the western seaboard was a condition of living. It came straight-down and sideways, frontwards, backwards and any other wards God could think of. It came in sweeps, in waves, sometimes in veils. It came dressed as drizzle, as mizzle, as mist, as showers, frequent and widespread, as a wet fog, as a damp day, a drop, a dreeping, and an out-and-out downpour. It came the fine day, the bright day, and the day promised dry. It came at any time of the day and night, and in all seasons, regardless of calendar and forecast, until in Faha your clothes were rain and your skin was rain and your house was rain with a fireplace. It came off the grey vastness of an Atlantic that threw itself against the land like a lover once spurned and resolved not to be so again. It came accompanied by seagulls and smells of salt and seaweed. It came with cold air and curtained light. It came like a judgement, or, in benign version, like a blessing God had forgotten he had left on. It came for a handkerchief of blue sky, came on westerlies, sometimes – why not? – on easterlies, came in clouds that broke their backs on the mountains in Kerry and fell into Clare, making mud the ground and blind the air. It came disguised as hail, as sleet, but never as snow. It came softly sometimes, tenderly sometimes, its spears turned to kisses, in rain that pretended it was not rain, that had come down to be closer to the fields whose green it loved and fostered, until it drowned them. All of which, to attest to the one truth: in Faha, it rained. But now, it had stopped.

~ Niall Williams, “This Is Happiness” (Bloomsbury Publishing; December 3, 2019)


Photo: “All it ever does is rain” by Alan Schaller (via thisisn’thappiness)

Incognito

With star turns in last year’s “Lady Bird” and the new period epic “Mary Queen of Scots,” out Dec. 7, the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, 24, has catapulted into Hollywood’s top ranks. But she prefers to spend her off time out of the limelight: The 24-year-old’s favorite pastimes include knitting, cooking and reading history. “I don’t go to a lot of clubs because I’m busy knitting,” she jokes. “I just knit and read history books.” She laughs and shakes her head, adding, “Now nobody will want to read this interview.” …

She’s read a lot of history books to study for her roles, but she says her script choices are more emotionally than strategically driven. “It’s like a chemistry thing,” she says…She found revisiting her emotions “quite therapeutic,” she says. “It can really help get something out of your system or help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way or just be more in touch with how you’re feeling.”

That self-aware groundedness is part of what keeps her close to home in Ireland when she isn’t working. A self-described homebody, she lives outside Dublin, near where she grew up. Her father is an actor and her mother a homemaker…

She enjoys remaining incognito at the grocery store. Her relaxed attire helps. While she says her style changes all the time, she thinks she tends to dress like a “cool Scandinavian mother.” When I look at her quizzically, she describes loose, high-waisted pants and flowing shirts. “They’re not necessarily Scandinavian, but I just mean mothers who have just had a baby,” she explains. “I look a bit like a mother of one who’s gone mad in Anthropologie.”

Alexandra Wolfe, from “Saoirse Ronan Would Rather Be Knitting” – The ascendant star, now playing ‘Mary Queen of Scots,’ prefers to spend her off-time out of the limelight—and get through the grocery store incognito (wsj.com, Dec 7, 2018)

To go back home, never more to roam, is my dearest wish of all.

Bob Simon: Is it possible to be socially acceptable to be a teetotaler on this island?

Ailsa Hayes: Yes.

Bob Simon: Are there any?

Ailsa Hayes: Yes. But– I’m not one of them.

Over the years, the island’s people have learned how to entertain themselves, often at gatherings called Ceilidhs which feature traditional dance and sad songs, mostly about leaving Islay and yearning to return.

[Man sings: “To sit with my love on the bridge above the rippling waterfall. To go back home, never more to roam, is my dearest wish of all.”]

If this looks and feels a lot like Ireland, that’s no coincidence. It’s only 25 miles away. They come from the same tribe, share the same Celtic culture and Gaelic language, not to mention a love of good whisky that gets them through stormy weather and the long winter nights.

There are no movie theaters on Islay, no dry cleaners, no supermarket, and no McDonald’s…at least in the fast food business. Jim McEwan says there is a long list of things that Islay doesn’t have…and doesn’t want.

Jim McEwan: We don’t have any crime, we don’t have mugging, carjacking, house breaking, rape, just dope, drugs, we don’t have that. You can keep that. You’re very welcome to it.

Bob Simon: How do you explain the fact that there’s no crime here? There’s crime everywhere else.

Jim McEwan: There is no crime. If you commit a crime in a small community, you’ll be ostracized and have to leave. Not only that, your family, your children and your children’s children will be remembered as the children of the man who committed the crime.

~ Bob Simon, excerpt of an interview on 60 Minutes in a segment titled Whisky Island. Simon visits Islay, a magical place in the Hebrides islands off the coast of Scotland, known for making some of the great single malt scotch whiskies in the world.  Find full report here.

Santa Lollapalooza

glasgow,charity,run,santa Claus

More than 8,000 people take part in Glasgow’s annual Santa Dash, a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run that raises money for charities in Scotland. (Jeff J. Mitchell, Getty Images, wsj.com Dec 10, 2017)

Gloam·ing (n) twilight; dusk. Just One More Listen

Shelley Rainey: A beautifully relaxing album. Lie back, close your eyes and let the music wash over you.

Ian CrippsSometimes music stops you in your tracks, sometimes you have to listen, sometimes nothing else matters. Moments that stretch time…This is traditional Irish music played with emotion, with joy for the most part, with sadness occasionally, with beauty always…this is simply music that moves you…Twelve tracks, over an hour of listening but it’s not, you get to the end and hit play again. And again. And time passes, the day has gone and still you are mesmerized. At times reflective, haunting, peaceful, happy this album runs the full gambit of emotions. You don’t want it to end. It doesn’t have to. Just one more listen.

The The Gloaming’s second album can be found here: “2”


Source: Thank you Hammock Papers

Being Irish is very much a part of who I am. I take it everywhere with me.

green-relax


Notes:

Saoirse Una Ronan

Saoirse-Ronan-3

She is the second youngest two-time Academy Award nominee in history receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination in Atonement (2007) and a Best Actress nomination for her role in Brooklyn (2015).  Saoirse Ronan, is a 21 year old Irish-American actress born in the Bronx, NY.

If you missed CBS Sunday Morning this morning, DON’T MISS Jane Pauley’s interview of Saoirse Una Ronan found at the video clip here:

CBS Sunday Morning: Saoirse Ronan, from screen to stage

JP: I remember reading that early fame is particularly challenging for young women.

SR: I’m not surprised that it affects young women more because there is more pressure not only for the superficial stuff – the way we look – the way we are all compared to each other – what we wear and how that’s compared to what someone else may wear on a red carpet for example, but even beyond that when it comes to success it’s almost something you have to be apologetic about.

It’s very weird to have your face plastered all over, even though I do get quite shy about that sort of stuff, there is something about seeing your name or your face attached to a Broadway theatre that makes you say, oh wow, this is a bit of a dream.

And don’t miss this video clip where Jane Pauley reads lines with Ronan:

Saoirse Ronan runs lines with Jane Pauley

Her other film roles include parts in The Lovely Bones (2009), Hanna (2011), The Way Back (2010), Byzantium (2012), The Host (2013), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).

Let’s just say that this young lady is inspiring…


Image: wallpapers

Being Irish is very much a part of who I am. I take it everywhere with me

St. Patrick's Day, paint


Source: Muffy Takes Manhattan. Quote: Colin Farrell

James Joyce. His Bell Tolls (for me).

It continues to haunt. James Joyce and Ulysses. Unfinished, brooding on my book shelf. I first discussed his book in a earlier post: Just Can’t Finish. Then I tripped into this video. Luck? I don’t think so. It’s time. Time to pull it off the shelf and give it another whack…

Larry Kirwan, 71, Irish writer and musician, on James Joyce:

Never once did he doubt his own genius, and God knows he had a awfully hard life. He became almost blind to his always broke, always borrowing. And yet he knew his strength. His strength for story, and words and music. I think we read him because of his music and his rhythms.  Catching the soul of a person. And catching the inner dialogue, say in the Molly Bloom thing, you could never have met a woman and read Molly Bloom and know what a woman is about. He’s that strong a writer to me.

Frank Delaney, 71, Irish journalist, author and broadcaster, on James Joyce:

This is what he does better than anyone else. He understands the tiny sins, the tiny virtues, the tiny venalities, the tiny advantages that people will look for in life. And nobody else ever did that before and nobody, I would contend, has done it as well since.


John Nolan, Mountain View

painting,art,Ireland,red


“Birth date 1958. Place of birth. Dublin, Ireland. I work from a studio in Dublin City. I have been painting from an early age due to the encouragement I received from my father who was an artist. I explore colour. Colour is the subject of my paintings. I paint in the abstract form and the modern stylised form. I am influenced by many forms of art and artists. Education: I started painting and never stopped.”

~ John Nolan


See more fine art by John Nolan here. See John Nolan’s website here.

I am King

photography

A road,
a mile of kingdom.
I am king
Of banks and stones
and every blooming thing.

— Patrick Kavanagh, “Inniskeen Road”


Patrick Kavanagh (1904–1967) was an Irish poet and novelist. Regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century. He is known for accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace. Kavanagh was born in rural Inniskeen in 1904, the fourth of ten children born to Bridget Quinn. His father, James, was a shoemaker and farmer. Kavanagh was a pupil at Kednaminsha National School from 1909 to 1916, leaving in the sixth year, at the age of 13. He became apprenticed to his father as a shoemaker and worked on his farm. For the first 27 years of his life, he lived and worked as a farmer of a small holding. He later reflected, “Although the literal idea of the peasant is of a farm labouring person, in fact a peasant is all that mass of mankind which lives below a certain level of consciousness. They live in the dark cave of the unconscious and they scream when they see the light.” He commented that though he grew up in a poor district “the real poverty was lack of enlightenment [and] I am afraid this fog of unknowing affected me dreadfully.” (Source: Wiki)

Insight: “inniskeen Road” marks a significant achievement because of its reflective quality…The closing couplet sees him master of his newly burst road, if uncertain how to proceed along it…Similar oscillations between potency and anxiety mark the decade between the publication of this collection and Kavanaugh’s next trade collection, A Soul for Sale (1947). (Source:The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (edited by Fran Brearton, Alan Gillis), pp.184-185 via books.google.com))


Quote Source: Larmoyante; Image Source: Hungarian Soul.

We don’t eat until your father is at the table


James Vincent McMorrow, 30, was born in Dublin, Ireland and is a singer and songwriter.  His debut album Early in the Morning was released in Ireland in 2010 and in the US/Europe in 2011 to widespread acclaim.  He started his musical life as a drummer in a handful of post-hardcore rock bands. Despite liking the comfort and anonymity of playing drums, he began playing music by himself in the side room of this parents house, educating himself as a musician and a songwriter.  (Source: Wiki)

Album: Early in the Morning


Kodaline


Kodaline are a Dublin-based Irish alternative rock quartet.  In December 2012, the BBC announced that Kodaline had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll – a poll which surveys music critics and industry figures to find the most promising new music talent.

For Kodaline, music isn’t just music. “It’s therapy,” says singer Steve Garrigan.  “When we write music, the first thing we think of is, it’s therapy for us. Then we think of how we can use that feeling to touch as many people as possible.”

Music should have a purpose,  you know, – says Steve, Our purpose is honesty.

Steve, Mark and drummer Vinny May – all aged 22 and 23 – have been working towards this moment for much of their young lives. Growing up in houses just two minutes away from each other in Swords, Steve and Mark met aged eight, when they were the only boys in the school choir. “We were there to pick up girls, of course”, jokes Mark.


May your gravity be lightened by grace

dancer in wind gif

For Equilibrium, a Blessing:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”

― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings


John O’Donohue (1 January 1956 – 4 January 2008) was an Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher. He was a native Irish speaker, and as an author is best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.  O’Donohue said: “Part of understanding the notion of Justice is to recognize the disproportions among which we live…it takes an awful lot of living with the powerless to really understand what it is like to be powerless, to have your voice, thoughts, ideas and concerns count for very little. We, who have been given much, whose voices can be heard, have a great duty and responsibility to make our voices heard with absolute integrity for those who are powerless.


Sources: Image – Thank you Anake Goodall. O’Donohue Blessing: Good Reads. O’Donohue Bio: Wiki.

Related O’Donohue Post:

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