2018-07-07 14:15 — Dublin, Ireland
Eight weeks in Ireland. No work or family around me. Concentration. I believe that the writing must now succeed. I have thought of staying a while in the Frisian writer’s ark, but that’s too close to my house. I would have dinner every evening at home with my dear homecook and stay overnight, for the convenience. I would, therefore not spend much time in the ark.
No, Belmullet is better. The days are long, the sun goes down late. The western most sunset of Western Europe. I can walk down the shore, breathe fresh air, think. Then go to my writer’s house and write for hours. I can meet people in the village, go to the pub to drink Smithwicks beer, talk to musicians and writers and other people, behaving normally. Then again write. That’s all I want to do, and I do.
When people here ask me if I'm on my own, my answer is yes. But I'm almost never alone. I don’t miss anything. There’s a television, I watch the RTÉ News and I follow the weather forecast. There is wifi. I try to avoid social media, but I am in the rehabilitation program. Sometimes I do Facetime with my family and see what they’re having for dinner. They tell me that the water tap has been repaired. They film the hollyhocks, already grown half a meter.
Offline I'm rarely on my own either. The Irish are a relaxed people, they are interested and engaging and I am as well, so I'm talking to them a lot of the time. Being a journalist I hear stories everywhere, always about other people, but I must disregard this, and look deep inside my self to find my own story.
But I'm not in Ireland to lock myself up in the attic room. I could have stayed at home in Friesland and done that. I have contact. Other people, other language, other air, other ground. With all my senses. Yesterday I was aware of that. I had a nice talk with Teresa Meenaghan about her childhood in Blacksod and my own in Terkaple. When she left, she gave me a kiss. Suddenly I thought this was my first kiss in twelve days. I miss nothing but maybe just that.