Tag Archives: ireland

lost in translation.

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reminiscing about my visit

to beautiful ireland

 six years back, in july

how we found our way around the country

oh, we did a few turn-arounds here and there

as you can see above

but somehow we always ended up where we were going

eventually.

even with directions asked and kind answers given

regional accents, local advice, and lore

 thrown in for good measure

it could be a challenge at best

‘”oh, just go over the hill for a bit, turn at the old barn, you’ll see a huge green field with hills, and some sheep, and then a pub, they don’t have the best sandwiches but stop in for a pint, say hi to seamus for me if you see him, he’s a good lad, he just had that one thing that wasn’t really his fault, and all is forgiven, and oh, don’t turn by the church, go past it, there’s no sign, but you’ll see a big rock where john’s shed used to be before it burnt down in that fire in ’79 when everything was so dry, and take a sharp turn there….”  – and so on.

whether bumping along on a sheep path, sharing a two-way road with one lane, or driving half in a hedgerow

we found all the places we wanted to be

and discovered so many surprising and magical places along the way.

“going in the wrong direction, but making really good time.”

-cheri huber

above water.

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i first crossed paths

with this brave and amazing future author (trish kearney)

years ago on her blog:

“my thoughts on a page”

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/8642668

where she wrote about

her family, her careers, her loves and losses, her daily life in ireland

when i later traveled to ireland

we met in person

(even though her children warned her i might really be a male serial killer)

we spent a great afternoon at an outdoor pub

near the water on a beautiful day

getting to know each other

i had no idea what her whole story was

until she began writing posts about her childhood

 floating the idea of writing her memoir

including painful buried trauma she had endured

as a young championship swimmer

over time she gained confidence

decided to tell her story

to find personal peace

to hold her tormentor responsible

to no longer be a victim

to help others who might not be ready to speak.

what followed was

her book, “above water”

a podcast, “where is george gibney?”

and unforeseen consequences

both good and bad.

this is a book of truths

of regaining power over one’s own life

of bravery

of survival

 of living to tell the tale

of an unbroken spirit

of healing

of helping others.

i give it my highest personal recommendation

here’s to you, tric, and to all who suffer in silence

you are their brave voice for each and every one of them

and i’m so proud to call you my friend.

“you don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”

-Edwin Louis Cole 

 

“above water” is available at:

the book depository (paperback – free worldwide shipping)

https://www.bookdepository.com/Above-Water/9781529333640

 

amazon u.s. – kindle format (and on june 21 (presale) in paperback) in the u.s.

amazon uk – available now

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Above-Water-Childhood-Enduring-Survivors-ebook/dp/B08HMPF1PP

Reviews:

Not an easy read but an essential one … an important book that celebrates the power of the human spirit―Irish Independent

A completely compelling book … this is ultimately a story of Trish Kearney’s triumph―Irish Times

Trish Kearney’s memoir is proof that the powerless and betrayed can survive and triumph―Sunday Independent

An extraordinary story, at times heart-breaking but ultimately inspiring. Trish’s courage, her determination and her warmth light up those dark secret places―Woman’s Way

A powerful story beautifully told―Irish Examiner

Inspirational―Sunday Business Post

About the Author

Trish Kearney is a writer and mother of five living in Cork, Ireland. Her weekly ‘It’s My Life’ column ran in the Irish Examiner for over two years. She also has a popular blog, ‘My Thoughts on a Page’ and was awarded Best Personal Blog and Best Writer at the Irish Parenting Blog Awards in 2015.
Above Water is her first book.

how to be.

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 This sculpture was built by the Irish people in their own country to honor the American Choctaw Indian tribe.

They were grateful because the Choctaw people sent money to Ireland

when they learned that Irish people were starving due to the potato famine.

And that is a lesson in how to be a person in this world.

 

“Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do,

but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.”

-Khalil Gibran

 

 

==

source: open homes, open hearts u.s., karen waters

“beauty is not caused. it is.” – emily dickinson

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moll’s gap –

last july

on the road from kenmare to killarney in county kerry, ireland

happy st. patrick’s day to all.

“to love beauty is to see light.”

-victor hugo

photo credit: thanks for the brilliant photo and good company, k. schmidt

the village.

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the old mill, a boarding house, the glass lake, the stone bridge,

santa and his team, pine cone evergreens and the christmas tree

at my cottage 2016

once again

i was so excited to put out

 the remaining pieces

of the tiny village that my irish grandfather built

way back in the depression

when had become an american citizen

he was an architect by trade

as was his father

 he built this village by hand to exact scale

using

tiny stones

and

little sticks

and

heavy papers

with

incredible attention to every detail

all built

to share with us at the family christmas

i have very early and very fond mémories

of it placed on a big white board

with penciled in numbers for placement

so that every piece was in its place

beneath our christmas tree

with  lights installed underneath

 each building lit up inside

when it got dark outside

 a train ran around the village

it was covered in sparkly cotton snow

 it was so wonderful

i thought it would come to life at christmastime forever

 then it was lost for a long, long while

 i didn’t see it anymore

until

one day i saw its box out by the curb

waiting to go out with the trash

  during a very bad divorce between my parents

i would recognize its box anywhere

 i was lucky that i rescued it just in time

 only a few buildings and a few accessories remained intact

my siblings and i divided up what was salvageable

now i love to set up my own little section of his village each year

i think of how magical it was to see it all together as a child

i wonder what inspired him to create this wonderful village

i wonder where he got the ideas for each building

 i wonder how many buildings there were once upon a time

one of my buildings has the number 9 written inside in pencil

in my ‘umpa’s’  very neat and precise handwriting

 i wish i knew more of the story of the village

i wish i could ask him

no one remains who knows these answers

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a couple of old photographs of parts of the village that i found in the original box

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“i call architecture frozen music.”

-johann wolfgang von goethe

mishaps, malarkey, mayhem, misadventures, miracles, and memories.

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at last! the final installment!

i just couldn’t end the irish series without

a reflection on lessons learned and enjoyed.

i am a teacher after all, and a great  advocate of ‘hands-on learning.

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if you seem to have lost your way, virtually everything around you is green and beautiful, or the road appears to be ending, you can always turn around as many times as you need to or ask for advice and people will be more than willing to help you, but know that you may not have any idea what they said, that it is all subject to local interpretation, may have no bearing on your reality, and may quite possibly lead you on an even more roundabout way to your actual destination, but you will find many things along the way that are very cool and unexpected, and you will eventually somehow arrive where you meant to be. (irish miracle)

“it’s just over the hill”

“just go a about a mile and a bit.”

“yea.”

“go back that way, over a hill, then another hill, and turn left at the pub.”

“go right, then right again. and straight.”

“aye. you are out of your way.”

“look for the really old, big church and turn by the pub.”

“ach.” – (and a finger point)

“look for a gray barn, then 3 green doors, a big white rock, then turn and go down the road for a while, and go into the stone lot, but don’t forget to shut the gate.”

“you’re in the middle of a bike race, at a dead end, just turn around and go back up the hill.”

“there’s a caravan park up there and go around the turn and turn again and look for a field and go about 5 kilometers or so and then turn and you’ll see it.”

“you’ll see a roundabout, but it’s not a real one, just wee, but go around it anyway and go left at the second turn.”

“do you want to go the scenic route or the other way?”

gps, maps and written directions, friendship, and memories will not help in any way. distance/travel time will appear way smaller on a map. along the way, you will quite naturally incorporate the local lingo/slang into your vocabulary. laughter is very important and never plan on being somewhere at any certain time.

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“it’s saying ‘keep straight’, but which way do you think is straight, ‘right or left’?”

“would it kill them to have a sign?”

“re-routing, can’t keep up with us.”

“what does this say?”

“do you remember anything that gobshite said?”

“how many miles are equal to kilometers again?”

“can you read that irish sign?”

“i thought YOU were the one who understood what he was saying.”

“just don’t talk right now.”

“aw, feck it. let’s just stop at this pub.”

if a ‘road’ appears to be too narrow to be a real road, or to accommodate more than one car, a tractor, two bikes, or three animals at the same time, it probably is, but will somehow work. (another irish miracle)

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there is a direct correlation between the number of bags of crisps you will consume and the length of your car journey. it’s simple math, really –

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if you decide to stop to take a picture way up high of yet another stunning vista, it is not a good idea to drop your phone into a tall bramble along a very steep wall into a field, with a possible bull inside the gate, and if you should do so, it is a good idea to have one person stand there to mark the spot and the other run to a local house to find a woman and her grandson who have just arrived from the mountains, who will climb through the fence and into the wild to help recover it, in yet another stunning example of an irish miracle.

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if you decide to cut through a fence to run through a beautiful field to the sea and there are animals somewhere in the vicinity, you may find yourself being slightly electrocuted just after you yelled out, ‘wouldn’t that be funny if this was an electric fence?’ (irish humor?)

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if you choose a random spot in the middle of whoknowswhere to stop for a bathroom break, there’s always the possibility that it may actually be the ambush sight of a national hero, michael collins, and many cars will soon arrive who have gone way out of their way in search of it and you will quickly have plenty of company. you will also have a desire to see the liam neeson movie soon after.

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if there is even the slightest chance that you may perform an impromptu dance routine for an international audience, always be sure to pack plenty of extra scarves and jangly things, but make do with curtain tassels, and other borrowed items, and always be sure to enjoy yourself fully. good, sound advice for wherever you go.

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“it is not the destination where you end up

but the mishaps and memories you create along the way!”

― penelope riley, Travel Absurdities