I feel so at home in Dublin, and so removed from it, at the same time.
I have been here now for almost two weeks and been so happy to chill out in my friend’s lovely house.
I was born here and lived here for the first 25 years of my life. On some streets I know every crack in the pavement, every stone in the wall. I walked home from school, along the same pavement every day for four years. I remember the overgrown garden where I was convinced I saw a bear standing at the gate.
I know the place; I feel at home and yet I feel so outside it all.
Yesterday my very good friend’s husband became very ill and was admitted to hospital.
I was horrified and so scared and felt so out of my depth.
Living on a boat, with an ever changing community, I am so protected from real life in some ways.
I am very aware that in some cases life can become as small as people’s boat. Life becomes 48 foot long.
And so contained …. and become as important as a bilge pump, or a broken loo or engine. You have to guard against these things feeling all important.
When living in rural Co. Galway, it only took a visit to the local shop for your own small worries to be put sharply into perspective. “Did you hear about Dan O’Reilly up at the crossroads? Desperate; only 38 and he leaves a young family.”
And more and more and more stories of woe and heartbreak. Part of me felt glad to be part of a community that genuinuly cared about these tragedies and was certainly not afraid to talk about them endlessly, but part of me felt mad at how often they dwelt on the sadness and sorrow of life. If you weren’t careful you would take it all on and never leave the house. Always a reason NOT to do something.
I’m home now for a month visit and I’m out of my depth. Not all the time but quite a lot.
The huge supermarkets overwhelm me. The traffic, the cars, the motorways,
We left to live on a boat to have adventures with our kids and to simplify life. To move right away from consumerism, social pressures and the rat race.
We have and it’s been wonderful and interesting and a huge learning curve.
But during this time some of my friends have had to learn to live with ill health.
Very, very scary things. They have young children.
I salute them. Today I had a wonderful day with a friend who has been living with cancer for three years and more. I salute her. She has the same wonderful laugh that livened up most school days. I think I laughed today more with her than I have for a good while. While, at the same time, being scared out of my mind for my friend undergoing surgery in hospital.
Life..it’s so wonderful and so desperately scary.
The operation went well. I am so grateful.