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A stupid little dream I had

A big yellow digger came and cut a gash in our road. It cut into the bowels of this place and made a great deal of noise and caused dust to fly around like talcum powder. The men who stood about in bright orange jackets and hard hats looked bored. They fumbled with their packs of cigarettes like someone in a church counting rosary beads and they gazed into the vibrant green fields as one might look into the deep freeze section at the supermarket. I cursed them. They knew nothing of this place and what the gash meant and what they were disturbing. 

I watched the road disturbance crew from my car. The man held a stop sign to prevent me from moving forward. I was listening to Miles Davis. I turned up the volume. I didn't know if that would please or irritate the stop sign man and I suppose I didn't care. He looked at me through the glass of my car. He never blinked, just kept staring at me and I wondered if he had decided to look through me or beyond.  The music almost drowned out that big steel needle that penetrates the earth, causes an almighty racket. The earth that Mary, my past neighbour had walked on herding her cattle along the road in the evenings, head down, always down, a big stick in her hand, belting on the herd, cross countenance, soft skin. And Coley, her brother, breaking down a stone wall to bring whatever was necessary out to the fields and then, just as easily, building the wall up again, the lacework as intricate as it initally had been.

I walked my children on this road before it became a known shortcut for the commuters in the celtic tiger neighbourhood to the south of us. No cars  before then. Walk down the centre I could, one child on a bicycle, one in a stroller, one in a carrier on my back. Stones, they saw, my children. Stones and gorse and heather and buttercups and pheasants and furrows and birds and horses and cows and waves and smiles and skips and daisies and memories... and big skies, grey and blue and white and moody and laughing and sad tinged with magnificent rainbows dipping into faraway fields. No rainbows now only this big digger and the laying down of new water pipes or something like that. Water meters, that's what the guy in the hard hat said. Water meters, no more free water. No more free road, free walks, free bogs, no more walking down the centre of the road. No more light-hearted, carefree days on the road and Mary gone a long time now and Coley in the nursing home and their house full of weeds and neglect and nothing only memories resting beneath the constant irritation of the earth being bored into as if nothing matters at all anymore and it was all but a stupid little dream I had once upon a time.

Comments
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Ah, Mary,  The past is so

Ah, Mary, 

The past is so vivid within us. Time is indeed marching on, but  hold those precious memories close to your heart. I certainly try to do the same.

Annette

 

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I guess I feel a tad

I guess I feel a tad territorial about the road, Annette. It is a metaphor for what we have (as a nation) done to ourselves. Shame. mx

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Not stupid...

Just past.  

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Oh, Sue. It just dawned on me

Oh, Sue. It just dawned on me that I always start a reply to your comments with Oh, Sue. I bet you have a great shoulder to cry on. mx

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Exquisite

Exquisite.

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Smiling - thank you. mx

Smiling - thank you. mx

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Remembering your past...not a

Remembering your past...not a stupid dream at all, at all, Mary.  ~nan

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Sometimes it feels like a

Sometimes it feels like a dream, Nan. Something I concocted in the kitchen with the larder a tad in need of replenishment and yet the meal turned out to be memorable. mx

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This made me sad.   Yet,

This made me sad.  

Yet, there is also something hopeful in that the seeds of that sweet childhood are growing inside the children you raised within it.  

And I can't help but feel that they will be paying it forward.

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I do get a hint of the

I do get a hint of the childhood seeds, Amy. I can report that the roots are quite sturdy and the growth, for the most part, proves to be both healthy and satisfying. Thank you for reading. I love the new pic! mx

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Yes

I especially liked Amy's comments and your response, Mary.  The past does stay with us always and continues, so the past is never truly past.  I forget that sometimes.

 

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Thanks, Sue. mx

Thanks, Sue. mx

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The needle that pierced to the heart of my existence

It's always worthwhile waiting for your blog and I'm never disappointed. It's the emotional impact of what you say I admire so much. And I can go with your take on the metaphor for what has happened to Ireland recently as I have felt the same over the years. As E.M Forster said, 'Only connect', and boy does your writing connect

I seem to recall that Ireland was once hailed as a beacon of civilisation and learning - being called the 'Land of Saints and Scholars' - and also endowed with a strong and admirable tradition in politics, justice and a distinct take on what was right and wrong - especially hard-won and nurtured over the years when under the thumb of a foreign colonial power. You will no doubt recall from your Irish history when the 1916 Easter Rising (Revolution) Proclamation was published in Dublin that it addressed both Irishmen and Irishwomen equally and it said, among other things, "The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally."

Sadly, only 50 years after the above fine words passed into Irish mythology I grew up in an Ireland in the 1960s where such proud traditions from the past and laudable aims for a better society in the future were being mindlessly trampled upon by a political and financial elite who paid little heed to such fine ideals as they navigated their way to the top of the greasy pole of success.

My acid test of a society is who do I recall with pleasure from his/her work that was memorable in the public sphere in this period of the 1960s? About the only person who springs to mind is a certain minister of education who introduced free secondary education (in 1966 I think) to many thousands of youngsters like myself at the time who benefitted from this transformational decision to enable young boys and girls from humble backgrounds to complete their education and hopefully go on to benefit the nation in the future from the fruits of their learning. It was a ground-breaking and nation-affirming decision that had an incredibly positive outcome. But apart from that highlight - notable as being just a single beacon of memory - the rest of these political characters (IMHO) were a pack of charlatans only interested in 'number 1' as Nelson Mandela equivalents were very thin on the ground at the time.

So, as an expatriate Irishman it pains me to recall this period of waste and corruption from nearly 50 years ago and that history then repeated itself more recently with the greed of the Irish celtic tiger and how it all ended in tears. As my wonderful Scottish grandmother - of solid Presbyterian farming stock - said to me many times as a child, "Greed always causes suffering" - and it's a lesson that those in charge in Ireland in the recent past failed to heed both from this simple homespun advice and also from the bigger picture of what was proclaimed as an honourable and life-affirming way forward at the dawn of the Irish Republic nearly a century ago.  

There endeth the lecture and apologies if I went on a bit longer than expected but your blog touched a nerve and I felt I had to respond this way.

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Greed always causes suffering.

Your grandmother was a wise woman, Nicholas, and your heartfelt response is greatly appreciated. I don't know if you are aware of what came out last week in Ireland as in The Anglo Tapes. Talk about greed!

There is a simmering anger that abounds in this country these days. Many people are resentful and rightly so. I don't know if it will ever be resolved.

My husband says the country isn't called Ireland for nothing as in 'ire'.

But your love of this nation is palpable. There are many like you. I suppose you could say we are a little heartbroken. I could go on and on but I think you know what I am saying. Thank you for your generous comment and for your kindest of words. Best, m

 

 

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Greed and Arrogance - A Combo Self-Destruct

Thank you for alerting me to The Anglo Tapes which I have now been reading about to my increasing horror. It is incredible that somehow those members of this rag-tag elite group in charge of the country's financial and political affairs suspended ALL sense of proper governance, ethics and morality where the welfare of the country was concerned. The unbelievable sense of ego of these ne'er-do-wells embarking on a path of pure evil which then lead them into a zone of greed and arrogance - a hideous combo of self-destuct as it flings out such foul-smelling excrement in all directions where ALL 4.5 million citizens of Ireland are adversely affected. Everyone suffers throughout the nation as a result of this awful deed. I can imagine that many people in Ireland are very upset at coming to know about all the sordid details of The Anglo Tapes. 

As for myself, I can feel a rising sense of anger that the country of my birth and where I spent the first 24 years of my life has allowed itself to plumb these new depths of depravity while I am simultaneously saddened that people like you Mary, your family and the entire Irish population have to pick up the pieces and recover from this unholy and wretched set of circumstances. A set of circumstances that you and millions other like you had no control over and knowledge of - until very recently - and yet now you will be expected to bail out these b'st*rds. I'd better stop or else my polemic will be OTT.

What happened to knowing the difference between right and wrong? 

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The dirty bankers and greed...

Well, first off, Nicholas, I could not have said it better myself. It is shameful and guess what, the government want an enquiry! Imagine. Another bloody enquiry. And, at the tax payers expense!!! If you ask me they are hoping we will all move on and in time forget about it. Another cover up will evolve - watch this space. You are right about anger. There is SO MUCH of it. Protests - etc., but we seem to be ignored! The Savita Hallapanavar case was bad enough and even that has reach horrendous proportions, her poor husband has been receiving hate mail from Pro-lifers and they have basically told him to leave the country. He is in the process of suing the health board. Now you have me going!!! Your comments are dead-on. I think I need a glass of wine to calm down - thank heavens it's after five! Thanks for reading and having a chin wag on this. Believe me, there are many who feel like me, betrayed, let-down, disheartened and truly, truly saddened over the mess this country has to put up with and the nepotism and the 'nods and winks' mentality that have strangled our lives. mx

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It's hard to feel grateful

It's hard to feel grateful for having the memories and having the experiences with your young children, when you know their children won't have them and they won't be had again there on that road.

I remember when my grandmother died at 92, years ago, how much change she saw in the world, from growing up in Poland and moving to the US and how many times she must have shook her head.

I have a vision of you shaking your head. I'm going to hold onto all those lovely visuals I now have of you and your boys and the things you saw. And I'm also grateful that they are not building a McDonald's there - something I was bracing myself for...

 

 

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Oh lord, Eva! A McDonald's -

Oh lord, Eva! A McDonald's - now that would be a nightmare a million times over. I just hope they fill in the gash soon and that the scar will heal. Thank you for visiting me. It's always lovely to see you. Your grandmother must have been a wonderful lady. I'm guessing she wrote...mx

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She didn't write,

She didn't write, unfortunately. But she did cook!

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M, not many people have

M, not many people have dreams at all, and fewer still have memories of dreams, of reality...and the earth sodden or gravelly always gives birth. Always. While we asleep, dream or wake up.

I can sense it even in the "ire"...

~F

PS: Reading Nicholas's comment and your response, I realise there are political dimensions, which only add to the reading of what you so beautifully capture.

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~ from one dreamer to another...

~ f, your words are appreciated ~ mx

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Pensive - slightly teary-eyed

I want the past to be the past - but it keeps creeping up. I'm struck by " The man held a stop sign to prevent me from moving forward." 

Without the past we wouldn't have a present...and the present only leads us to the future.

Excellent, thank you.

Sharon

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Without the past we wouldn't

Without the past we wouldn't have a present...and the present only leads us to the future - how beautifully true, Sharon, thank you for putting it this way. I hope you are well dear friend of the universe. mx