stevenpiziks: (Ireland)
stevenpiziks ([personal profile] stevenpiziks) wrote2008-07-09 10:01 am
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Ireland Journal--Friday (Biking, Packing, Contemplating)


I wrote today.  It was neat!  I wrote a long section of a short story and made some notes for a novel in my Irish cottage.  How cool was that?  I also watched a couple videos.  I’m on vacation, after all.

I went on a long, long bike ride.  There’s a bike path--actually, it’s a section of road with arrows pointing the way--called the Tain Trail.  I discovered it a couple days ago on a drive elsewhere, and followed up on it today.  It was a very nice ride through fantastic Irish countryside.  I found a couple historical markers that made no sense to me whatsoever, but I read them anyway.

I also took a set of pictures of the NO PYLONS signs. 
Somewhere along the line, a bunch of people in County Meath got the idea that electric wires strung on poles cause cancer.  I’ve heard about the cancer rate rising slightly among people who live under the really big, multi-story, metal pylons that carry dozens of wires with millions of volts in them, but around here, lots of people seem convinced that regular electric wires cause cancer, too.  There are signs protesting the wires everywhere, some hand-lettered, some professionally done.  The signs say things like NO PYLONS HERE or BURY THE WIRES or NO CANCER-CAUSING PYLONS.  It’s really something.  I took pictures of the different signs I passed.

The weather started off beautifully--sunny and breezy and warm.  Then it turned on me and became cloudy and cold.  Sheesh!

When I got home early in the evening, I started getting ready to leave.  The rental car was due back at the rental agency by noon at the latest.  I had asked about turning the car in to the Enterprise branch at the airport, since the drive would be easier and I could just catch the shuttle bus into town.  In America, this would have been no problem.  But in Ireland, Enterprise isn’t quite so accommodating.  I could do it, but it would cost me fifty Euros--seventy-five dollars.  Geez!

I didn’t relish the thought of driving into Dublin.  Driving out--no problem.  Pick a highway, pick a direction, and I was fine.  But driving in, with a particular destination in mind, through a city full of one-way streets, no street signs, and streets that change names at odd moments . . . bad juju.  Toss driving on the left into the mix, and it was going to be a difficult trip.

The city center of Dublin is at least 90 minutes from the cottage.  It meant I needed to be on the road by 8:30.  That would give me two hours of getting-lost time.  I spent considerable time with a Dublin street map, working out the best way to get to Russell Street.  Fortunately, it seemed to be a fairly straight shot, as long as I didn’t lose the N2 once I got into town.

I wrote out directions in large print and put them in the car along with my street map and both my atlases.  Ready!

Then I cleaned out the fireplace.  Siobhan politely charges ten Euros if you leave the fireplace dirty, you see.  I packed everything I wouldn’t use overnight, and I was done.

Siobhan came by to settle up the electric bill.  She was surprised to see it was only eight Euros.  I told her I’d avoided the heaters and used the fireplace a lot instead.  When she left, I cranked up the radiators and turned on all the lights.

Just kidding.

That evening, I went down to the rose garden.  I’d been avoiding doing ritual work all week, and this was strange.  Coming to Ireland was partly a spiritual journey for me, after all, and I’d barely done anything beyond feel the resonance of various ancient sites.  The reason is that I was having trouble connecting.  The spirituality I’d been observing was far, far removed from mine.  There are echoes that connect us, but not much else, and I felt intimidated and out of touch.

And then I looked around the rose garden.  The sky had touched the end of the extended twilight, and a cool, damp breeze swept the trees beyond the garden.  I saw that the entrance to the garden was in the east.  Directly across, in the western part, was the dropoff to the river--water.  To the south stretched an endless field of grass that rippled like fire.  And to the north was the stone bridge--earth.  The garden was a perfect elemental staging area, and I hadn’t noticed until just now.

I did know that Morrigan had been watching me all week.  The ravens and rooks had followed me from the first day, when I found a raven feather on the cottage doorstep the moment I arrived.  I found a second at Knowth, and a third at Loughcrew.  I had to do something that mentioned her.

The ritual that I performed lasted the better part of an hour in the endless midsummer twilight.  A lot of things came together for me there, and I left the garden in a contemplative mood.