Yum Creative

Yum Wrap – Irregular musings on film, art and media

Béal Feirste, Northern Ireland September 24th 2023 – Come Home Journal #34

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.

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.
Mary Oliver

The day after the screening I sit at the hotel bar looking out. It’s cold and raining out. I could do it but choose the easy path today. I feel world weary. The hotel is that kind of non-cultural vanilla. Nothing stands out and nothing fits in. Its like the place you wait while you are waiting for a place. I love vanilla, plain vanilla, but there’s only so much I can take before my mind flies right out the door and leaves my body behind.

People here, outside the hotel, seem unbothered by the cold, wind and rain. It’s autumn here but Aimee (7) has told me they have no sun. Ever. A wildly imaginative child, she is both shy and bold. Her aunty tells me when she arrived home one time from holiday she was upset. The bother was she had come from sun, home to no sun. But she says, and her mother says, she’ll never leave home. The family is mostly all nearby in a show of commitment love and affection to remain bonded. And this one? She’s a home-bird. I wonder how the world will treat her.

No I don’t. I know how the world will treat her. I wonder how she will respond. Those years when children, girls particularly, take on the lessons of the world, and make themselves smaller, less obtrusive.

At the same time through the hotel windows I see at least three ‘hen’s nights’. Girls whooping it up in celebration of getting marry, having made it to their foreseeable ‘happy ever after’. But no one talks about what comes after, and the importance of knowing yourself in those times. One of the groups are dressed in cowgirl hats, another in sequins and the third in tiny frocks and high heels squealing into the wind and rain.

You can pick the brides out in mini veils, a test of their dexterity in the wind to not hide them like the real one is meant to do. One bride leans against the door in blind stare as her friend regales her in story. It’s early in the night. I’m glad not to see them later when they might be crying for their friendship in jeopardy. We know things change in the ‘happy ever after’.

Girls must be strong to lead, keep their names, not be caged despite the origins of the marriage contract being about property. The strong ones demand commitment beyond the workload, they hope they will not have to forego families, cultures and traditions or language for him. And sometimes the partner falls into line and walks it together with love, rather than control. But he will always have the choice. She must fight. Always.



IMAGE CREDIT: Belfast Social Club by Erin M McCuskey

Image journal Collection – Ireland –  Flickr Album – Album – Belfast


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