Friday, February 26, 2010

My Point of View(s)

Nesting Fulmars at Loop Head

The Kerry Mountains from Loop Head

Loop Head Lighthouse

There are times when things fly around in your head at 100km per hour and threaten to engulf you. I imagine we all have places or rituals to deal with the chaos. One of my boltholes is the very tip of the County Clare Peninsula called Loop Head. From here on a clear day there are spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the River Shannon, the distant but visible Aran Islands, the Kerry Mountains and the Clare coast right up to Hags Head which is just before the famous Cliffs of Moher. There is something about the Loop Head Peninsula that captures the imagination. It has a very dramatic history particularly relating to famine times. It is a wet and wild headland with a the first lighthouse built there back in the 17th Century. There are countless stories of shipwrecks and the families who grew up at the lighthouse.

At the towering cliffs, thousands of seabirds nest during the spring/summer and their echoing calls add to the atmosphere. Out on the Shannon, there is a famous school or group of Bottle-nosed Dolphins that can be seen from the headland with just the aid of binoculars. I have sat at the tip of the headland and watched them passing along with whales and seabirds.

Whenever I am there, I always bring a sandwich and a flask of tea because the car makes the perfect mobile restaurant with the best view.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nothing Happening Here, Just Thinking

It is raining heavy outside at 15.57 in the west of Ireland.
I'm just finished a staring out the window daydream.
I was thinking about my fathers eyes on the day before he died.
I was thinking about how a window in my car is leaking and not yet fixed.
I was recalling someone telling me that a bucket and two cloths was the center-piece of what Mother Theresa left behind when she died.
I was sailing towards the moral high ground because someone else I know has just blown thousands of Euros on pointless shiny things that he doesn't need.
I was thinking this makes me mad; one shiny thing would have sufficed while the money for the rest could have gone to Haiti or sponsored a child in an Indian slum.
My last thought was, I do not have the right to judge.

Monday, January 11, 2010

White but with a little bit of Black

The snow and ice have resided with us for nearly a month now. Both people and the natural world are fighting against the grip of the cold snap. The world seems forever white and has been altered further by a death which added some black to the bright winter scenery. My father passed away on Dec 28 2009. It has brought about empty spaces, an empty chair, rooms feel bigger and memories bring little bee stings. He left behind few belongings - something for which I am very proud of him for. Just some clothes, birthday cards and odds and ends. He came from a generation where the word consumerism didn't exist. Life has changed - not for bad nor good, its just different. With one piece missing and the rest in the air, there is an uneasy unsettled feeling in amongst the calm and acceptance, when the pieces land it will reveal a new order to things. I am in awe at the support of friends and family. It may be an obvious statement but if you have basic good health, family and friends - you've made it big time.