Today was one of those crystal days from the way the prisms shone on the walls of my massage therapist's room to the way the waters of Galway Bay dazzled me and gave cause for great distraction on my drive home along the coast. The water was glittering and silver, like the scales of a fish or a huge wad of crumpled tin foil. I had a nice massage, I felt as if someone were opening the curtains in my mind and clarity for what I wanted to do came clearly to me, a rarity. As the day darkened the crystal images turned into silhouettes, mad jagged cutouts that I encountered on my drive out from town, the old cypress on the road suddenly took on a new perspective, tall and interesting its arms spread wide, black and elegant against the most amazing apricot mousse sky I have ever seen. I love this weather, dry, cold, defined. I stood outside on the driveway tonight to watch the show of stars appear in the sky. I fed the dog some dry food, how odd, how simple his life is, his instantaneous gratification, eat, gobble, gobble and then he looks to me again, seeking something else. That is it, for him this is as good as it gets. For me, this is as good as it gets too. There is woodsmoke in the air, all along the townland, chimneys spew white smoke like the old indian/cowboy movies I saw as a child, what are they saying, I ask myself? Great home here happy, or miserable in this house, husbands an alchoholic, kids a brat and out of control, in this house we sat down to dinner and celebrated the good food on the table, in this house we have no money because Sean was just made redundant, in this house it is cold because we can no longer afford the oil to heat it, in this house look at our driveway we own two big cars and I wax my legs every three weeks and I haven't asked my kids anything about themselves in eons, in this house I put a bunch of flowers on the table and and and...........there, another little snippet of life in this neck of the woods, if only walls could talk, if only all the blinds in all the houses were not pulled down, if only the heat from the fires filled more than the rooms. Mary P.