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Yum Wrap – Irregular musings on film, art and media

Cill Airne, Republic of Ireland September 19th 2023 – Come Home Journal #29

A reckoning of the journey (turas) to tour Dancing Shadows in Ireland, a retrospective of my film works as part of the Come Home project.

A melody, for every migrant’s song,
Energy that never dies,
Gently forging new ties,
Between body and soul,
Now, In tandem together,
The heaviest load that you will lift,
A single white feather.
It’s always been here,
As old as the wind and the valleys,
Through which it blows,
The special spirit,
Of genteel anarchy,


From Below Kerry by Dermot McGarthy

There is a way of being on my mother’s side. She had it. Her sisters have it. All the cousins seem to have it. A type of polished fashionable chaos that would not be controlled. A genteel anarchy. Some of her daughters have learned it. I’m late to the party, as ever, makes me feel like a changeling at times. However I am coming to my power. Late bloomers are not proof of anything, we simply are within our time, beautiful blooming loveliness after the bell.

I’ve been in Cill Airne (Killarney) visiting the family. They call themselves home-birds. No need to travel to adventure, its all right here inside them, surrounding them. With my cousin Breeda we walked the national park and sat by waterfalls. We talked and talked and realised later we were wearing the same clothes and colours. Breda is already a bird. You know the birds we women turn into in. I think she was always a bird. Fanciful, diminutive and also divine.

Her anarchy is her power to fly, at any moment. She does not ask permission, she has already given herself that. She’s tough when she needs to be, to protect her children and now her heart. She is in touch with herself and in deep conversation with her heart. It is both joyful and painful. “My hair is grey” she says when we meet. It’s beautiful I tell her. It truly becomes her. She tells me I am inspiring, she can see me following my dreams. We have both been through something different but the same I feel. We have travelled distances within and we are both finding our way back to ourselves.

The night before cousins Denis and Geraldine take me for dinner. Denis is changed from the shy young man I meet years earlier. He speaks so fast and is so quietly spoken that I look to Geraldine for interpretation. She is beautiful, easy to laugh and her eyes twinkle and shine like a song, always smiling.

Later I meet with Breeda her daughter Áine and the girls. We talk about the Irish language, Gaeilge. They learned it in school but through a punishment model so the language for them holds painful memories. They are quiet, except Marie who would talk the walls down if she could. And she could. Before they leave I suggest a group photo. They hate to be photographed and very reluctantly agree, only if its a long shot and only as a group! No attention needed nor required.

Beautiful women. All genteel anarchists.

IMAGE CREDIT: Breeda at the Loch by Erin M McCuskey

The image journal can be found in this Collection – Ireland –  Flickr Album – in this album – Killarney


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