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Fáilte go hÁrainn
Official Guide to the Aran Islands

Inishmore: An Edge Place Par Excellence (Part I)

A Place At The Edge of the World An eminent ethnographer once wrote that many of us travel to the edge of the world, to find out who we truly are. I really like that. This guy is speaking my language.

So too do other poets and writers, such as Thoreau, Wordsworth, Berry, Lopez, and countless others. For many, Inishmore has it’s own inner, textured, world.

It is an edge place, par excellence. And I love it.

 

 

Why Did Ye Come Here?

There are many/many fine reasons why people come here to the island of Inishmore. As a writer, I have earnestly sought out the answer to why people do so. The answers, it seems, are as varied as the people who come here, whether as visitors, transplants or those who have chosen to abide here permanently. Many a tourist comes here for obvious reasons: the stunning scenery, the unsurpassed natural beauty, and of course, the world-class hospitality.

Others come here to re-root themselves here, in the ‘borderlands’, for their own, often very personal reasons. Those who abide here do so for equally varied reasons, often either familial or traditional.

However, many of the answers for coming to Inishmore often contain the paradoxical pre-cursor of “I don’t know…” I like that, a lot. Because it seems to be the best answer so far! There’s just something about this place that draws people to it. Truly, there is mystery here, and in the people who come, for whatever reason.

From aboriginal people, I’ve learned to let mysterys lie, to complete their own circles.

And so I do.

 

 

 

Who Are You, And Why Are You Here?

So, who am I and why did I come here? That’s a difficult question to answer, in either part.

People these days like byte-size answers, so let me scratch that itch here and now: I’m from ‘away’ and am a writer/poet. I’ve come for both vocational, and personal reasons. At the risk of sounding self-indulgent, I’m a bit of a ghost, that very few know by name, and even fewer know in truth.

That’s fine by me. I prefer it that way.

But apart from the ‘what’ I am, there is also the ‘who’. I am a pilgrim, in search of the love of God. To one extent or another, I think we all are… searching. Of course, the Irish have an intrinsic wanderlust that is extraordinary. As ‘my (ancestral) people’ come from County Clare, I seem to have come by it honestly.

But I also stand in a rich Irish spiritual tradition that goes even deeper in this connexion. I am a blood-descendant of Ethne, mother of Columba and his tuatha (family). I am thus incredibly proud of my Irish ‘roots’, even if I can be fierce and unapproachable on occasion.. But such instances are rare. Most often, I’m just a happy, quiet… wanderer. For some, my postings might seem… divergent. But bear with me.

They are all inter-connected, whose woven strands will emerge as a pattern over time. Each one is worthy of a good chew. So… in my next post, I’ll explore the importance of art, music, and the madness (?) of the writing vocation (in particular) here on Inishmore (Inis Mór). Until then, ‘may the road rise to meet you’ – just not too fast! S.O.