Thursday, January 31, 2008
Where I am From ......
I am from the white, iron bed with the horsehair mattress, the sucked woollen blanket and the interminable rocking of the unfathomable, tortured spirit in the small, front bedroom.
I am from ice on the insides of windows in winter, deep-red, summer roses and strawberries in the long, green garden. From cold, marble halls and mesmerising fires. From transient, pencilled masterpieces on 1950's fireplaces and fervent intonations of the Rosary on bended knees. From porridge-making rituals and greed-inducing butterfly buns. From fine bone china, good rooms and curious, black-clad creatures of God, who demanded kisses.
I am from the rhythmic sound of a push-mower, cats yowling, and self-imposed silence.
I am from creeper-clad walls, eternally occupied trees, tearaway horses masquerading as concrete dividers. From Goody's Lane, swampy fields, forbidden orchards and a broken-arm trophy. From envious gazing, over garden walls, through shining windows at newly acquired black and white televisions. From apprehension as a constant, daily companion.
I am from the salt of the earth and the animal healers, the strong women and the silent men. The duty-bound. The drinkers. The disappointed.
From Annie and Aidan, O'Rourkes and Walshes, Drakes and Shepherds.
I am from the disillusioned and the masters of under-carpet sweeping. From the kindly and hard working, from the happy and sad, from the optimists and the pessimists.
From birdies and fondies, doanie and yaya, goodie and bumbows.
I am from crucifixes and sacred hearts, novenas and litanies of the saints. Heaven and Hell. Purgatory and Limbo.
I am from the small, green island. Awash with holy men, scholars and hypocrites.
From rhubarb and custard, brown bread and tea, shepherd's pie and glasses of milk.
I am from the struggling angel who lost the battle to endure her torment.
I am from the handsome, big eared lover, who stole her heart and then was careless.
I am from mismatched, mixed-up mortals who loved to the best of their ability, sometimes overwhelmed by their journey. I am from the grateful place.
I am from a place of sunshine, with unspoken love and loyalty.
I am also from a dark place that caused pain.
From this dark and light place, I am who I am.