In my view, the fishing families on this Island are the royalty and the fishermen are the princes of these islands. That there is an unwritten and unspoken hierarchy out here and again, in my view, the fishermen sit humbly at the top. No one admires or respects the fishermen of today and yesterday more. All of that certainly remains very true but there is a little more ; I’ve noticed over the years that the people that I tend to connect with, gel with and like, always have a love and appreciation of the sea.
There are never preconditions but within a very short time a love of things ocean always comes to the fore. I find lovers of the sea to have ; Open hearts, True Hearts, Feel Nature, Dreams, Passion, Depth, A recklessness and untamed and almost pure view of the world …… I know that I could write an unending list but these souls who feel the pull of the ocean are my type of people and the type of people who see and feel a bigger picture — the type of people who would be there for you.
The Quiet Man
Three things I used to do to ease that painful feeling ;
Read and re read Walter Macken books.
Watch ” The Field ”
Watch ” The Quiet Man “.
I actually know every line of the Quiet Man, but for this purpose, I’ll paraphrase,
Micilin Fagan is bringing Sean Thornton ( John Wayne ) home from the station in his pony and trap.
Sean Thornton asks his jarvey to stop on the bridge so he can look across at the cottage. Micilin asks him why —
Sean Thornton replies that the cottage is White O’ Morn — and that ever since he was a kid over in the states, that White O’ Morn had become another word for heaven to him. He said he was home now and home to stay. My story differs somewhat but the feelings and sentiment are identical. I love every rock on my island and to me, Aran was always another name for heaven. I’m back and I’m not for moving.
That place where anything is possible
I remember back in the late seventies and early eighties one of the most prized objectives for school leavers of the day, was obtaining a steady, secure & pensionable job. Much to my parents joy I was called to a position in the bank. In the same way that in living back here, I am certain that I now have a natural harmony in my life – I knew then without any doubt whatsoever that I was seriously miscast in that role as a banker. I clearly remember the mass of confusion at life in general at the time ; I didn’t know how to be a son, a brother , a friend , an employee ….. the list could go on, but in short I had no clue how to take my place in the world – confusion reigned supreme.
In the labour intensive days of my early banking life, one of the first tasks of the day was to be given a big bundle of paid cheques and have to sort them alphabetically.
One morning as I sat there with every fiber of my being screaming at me that I was in the wrong place , while I silently berated myself for not having the courage to be true to myself and walk out the door — anyway, one of the first cheques I picked up was of a company called ; Anything is Possible Ltd.
— I held that cheque in my hand for what seemed like an eternity and as the old saying goes —
When the student is ready, the teacher appears — well, I didn’t leave the bank that day but I never forgot the name on the cheque and not only what it represented and promised but what absolutely turned out to be the case. Long story short, i left the bank – have had the most amazing adventure of a life, thus far and as if I wasn’t over paid enough already, even though I walked a crooked road to get here, I am blessed and beyond fortunate to live on my beloved Island.
I have been influenced by this from living on Aran and find that living in a small community levels the pitch in that every single one of us has messed up at some stage in our lives – it’s called living life.
Judging others is an extremely unhealthy and smug thing to do. About a year and a half ago, my mother visited the Island with my brother Niall and I remember so clearly watching the boat pull away from the pier and torturing myself with the thoughts ” will this be the last time I ever see her”. Gratefully, it wasn’t— and in truth, irrespective of age or circumstances – none of us actually know.
I certainly don’t – I am in my mother’s now , she is eating her porridge and reading the Sunday papers in bed and I have been over to the 40 foot for a new years eve dip. We will spend this new years eve together. What will tomorrow or the next days bring – honestly, who knows.