This is the prologue to the following posts about my trip to Ireland to present my musical "The Last Torch" at the Celtic Fringe Festival, Sligo. I have been writing them backwards as things are best understood this way. It means the reader can read them forward as they appear now on my blog page! I think one is slightly out of order. This was the trip in a nutshell (Some of it was not planned).
Melbourne ->Dublin -> Sligo -> Grange (Celtic Fringe Festival) -> Somewhere near Elfin ->
Belfast -> Newgrange -> Somewhere between Roscrea and Brosna -> Melbourne.
The adventure was amazing.
My friend laughed as I regaled her with my stories of the Irish. She proposed that maybe they were being extra Irish just for me and would all fall in a heap when I left. Something struck me about the Irish while I was there. hey live in a land that is so breathtakingly beautiful and is full of constant physical reminders of the wars of men and gods. In a place where so many have died and lived in tragic circumstances there is an exuberance of life in their veins. They have a strong identity with extremes cohabiting. This must be the key to the jokes about the Irish being back to front. Water proof teabags and Submarines with fly wire doors. The Irish are at once in heaven and on the earth. They are sublime and earth bound. Proud and humble. Refined and bawdy. Spiritual and primal. The constant is longing. Now I am back in Oz I feel the longing to go back and I dream of moments in the twilight.
For me, I felt like I was home. Through writing and producing the musical about my ancestors and becoming involved in the Celtic Fringe Festival, Irish online and theatrical communities I have learnt so much about myself. Since being snubbed in a English bar by a soldier 20 years ago for my name I have been on a mission to find out more, to answer more questions. My cousin asked me that night “Don’t you know who you are?” It’s was an intriguing question for a shocked Aussie who just found out she was a badass Irish beauty.
I am proud of who I am, I am proud of my parents, my grandparents and all those who came before me. Yes, I’m an Aussie girl and I really know nothing of true suffering, but they are MY family and I’ll honour them by finding out who they were, what they did and where they came from. In this way I honour myself. So please enjoy the blogs. I have attached links to travel vids.
I arrived in Dublin at night, very excited. My first day in Dublin I woke early and set off on a walk. Found remains of the Viking wall which once surrounded Dublin and a man who was having a cigarette in front of it volunteered to walk me up the main street. He pointed out many places to see and warned me not to flash the go-pro around as I may get mugged. That night was spent catching up with my parent’s godchild Jim. We met an internet friend of mine at Dublin’s oldest Viking bar where we partook in a pagan moot in the snug. Things were interesting to say the least but they best remain mysterious and secret.
The next day I would travel 3 hours to Sligo and another 20 mins by car to Grange. The train ride wasn’t great after a night on the Guinness, and was only saved by the landscape and a lovely man I met, Vincent. On the train the Irish still wondered at the beauty of the land out the window. How lovely that they are still struck by its majesty. The first day is a blur but I do remember going for a walk toward Benbulben, the table top mountain under which these people live and work and love.
Welcome to the 2015 Celtic Fringe Festival.