August 2006, Ireland, Age 19
We all have those moments when you are walking along and notice something relatively insignificant, like a blossoming lily, and wonder if later we will be able to remember the way the brilliant hues bounced off the petals. Do you ever squeeze your eyes shut and try to capture a moment? No camera, no tweeting, no writing it down…just your own memory? I do that all the time and no matter how much I try those magical moments, when I recognize how marvelously fascinating life is, slip through my fingers and I never think of them again.
As I’ve written before, I’m a chronic journaler. There have been periods of hiatus, and more often than not my diaries are filled with incessant rants about body image, petty annoyances, or depression. My journals often serve as self-therapy, the rants allow me to work through my emotions via the written word. There are times, particularly if I have a diary with me when I go somewhere, that I transcend my usual self-indulgent writing and focus on the world around me. With my 27th birthday around the corner, I’m reflecting on the life choices that brought me where I am today. My first trip abroad was to Ireland just over seven years ago, I went alone and being alone provides a lot of time to think. I spent too much time writing down my anxiety driven thoughts and about a crush I wasn’t sure I had on a French co-volunteer, but I did also write down moments I wanted to remember. To celebrate my seven years of travel and 27th year of life, I am going to share a short post with three moments I never wanted to forget:
Sunday August 20, 2006
We walked to Mount Shannon on this wonderful narrow dirt road through the pine woods. Then we found the harbor and took a ferry to Holy Island on Lough Derg. Holy Island is beautiful, there are many sacred things there. Old churches and pagan mixing stones and graves. It was very amazing. The atmosphere of the island is solemn and sacred. The water laps around the shore and the wind carries a bit of the sea (even though it is not by the sea) to the island. I felt very connected there. The wind was beautiful and soulful, light yes riddled with gusts of beauty. On the walk to Mount Shannon I was trying to hear my Irish ancestors speak to me in the wind and the mist.
Monday August 21, 2006
I am sitting in the kitchen on a cushion from upstairs with my back against the plastered stone wall. The rug is blue with pink faded into blue flowers. The kitchen has a linoleum floor, blue, modeled after hardwood in the way it is supposed to look. The kitchen is small and the fridge looks like a wooden cupboard. To my right is a stool. The boys room is on this floor and Martÿn is playing guitar. He plays a melody he made up and it makes me sway and feel alive. Will I forget this moment? How it feels as the sun is setting and I sit here looking through the door on the far side of the kitchen and through the glass paneled door that leads to outside. How I can see the horses grazing just across the stream and the herbs drying above the stove.
Monday August 28, 2006
Coming to Ireland is one of the best decisions I have ever made…I wonder if someday my stories and writings might mean something to someone…
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