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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: elsewhere :: profile


05.13.18

Some friends:

Being with her
Was intimate and helpful, like a cure
You didn’t notice happening.
—Seamus Heaney

//

Last Sunday I hiked up Knocknarea with a group of sound folks, gathering at the summit as a protest against all the negative energy of the NO campaign. We posed for pictures in front of Queen Maebh's cairn. According to legend, she is buried here, standing upright in armour, facing her enemies in the north. May her magic aid us.

//


Highlights of this week: crepes wrapped in paper and consumed at the foot of a mountain; a black schnautzer puppy that slept in my lap, a little black hole in the dim pub light; chatting with the Goldens while petting their topaz-eyed sheepdog, in the shadow of the spruce forest that catches the storms at night; swarms of orange-tip and green-veined white butterflies along the hedges; finding out the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker art critic Jerry Saltz worked as a long-distance truck driver until he was 41; the chicken potato curry made by my aunt- and uncle-in-law, visiting from Trinidad; the sight of the Isle of Innisfree at sunset, described by W.B. Yeats as where "midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,/ and evening full of the linnet's wings."

//

C.S. Sansome, the Tudor mystery writer, is terminally ill with cancer. Recently, he wrote a moving essay about the private school bullying he endured for years, which had a huge negative effect on him--a suicide attempt, belated intellectual development, and mistrust of people. I thought of the bullying I had suffered in school, and of the lack of support I had at home, under the thumb of my domineering and unhappy mother. I was saved, like so many other people in similar situations, by friends, reading, and writing. But the damage--poor self-esteem, awful social skills, mistrust and social anxiety--I'm still working on undoing. May we all find some peace, and move on from the darker shores of an arctic past, singing like nightingales in the great silence.




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