I take my hand and wonder who I am.
Life, as soul is complex,
and as I drift I learn
I move away and know
I am looked after.
I know I am not me,
I am beyond myself,
my idea of a person
who lives and eats
yet I have to live and
eat to not be me.
I drag thoughts into my
life and let them
linger, sit and wallow
in my pride.
I use them to decorate
my every other concept;
to take light away,
to sometimes stop myself.
I am not
but exist as feeling and thought.
What is ‘I’ and ‘knowing’ or ‘existing’ or ‘feeling’?
It’s a fairly serious question, really. I’m not scared of it, just giving it a nod..from a respectable distance…without actually looking at it. At the moment I feel like an amalgamation of two people; my uncle Tom and my dad.
Are we all that? Is that all we are?
It’s hard to say because when I think about identity i wonder what it is and how I can get the better of it. Not that I’m ashamed of it or anything. It’s just me, I spose. Just as you are you and the product of years of conditioning.
Can you help me sort yourself out? I would say we are worthy of a look, at least.
I’m looking at it from the position of being and Irish person abroad. An immigrant. Ex-pat? An ex-Paddy, perhaps?
I had a conversation with an old friend today about who it is we are and who we become. What it is to be identified with your past and what it is to build your own reality, outside of the forces that pull you into being that composite being. It went something like that, anyway.
But when I write it out it all becomes unclear. We’re looking at ourselves through the hazy shades of past experience and attempting to reconcile that against our wants, desires, dreams and delusions.
Is there more to it than that? Can I be someone who can look at the world afresh, having had a good go at cleaning the lens?
I want to write. There. I said it.
forgive me for interrupting but i noticed you were wearing my tie. Why would I be wearing your tie? I thought you knew something about the future. No, that’s not me. I only know about now. What about you? What do you know? I only know small things, like facts about politics and general knowledge. I don’t go in for answering any of the big questions. I consider myself a realist. I live on this planet, I die and my ashes get spread on to the earth or I rot in a grave and my body feeds the soil. Ah, I like the sound of that. kind of romantic. Sort of noble to be sacrificing your dead body to the earth but donating your living time to small facts and that. How come you think they are small facts? I mean if they’re what I believe in or whatever, then surely they’re the big things? Yeah I spose you’re right. Maybe. It’s not easy for me to make up my mind about these sort of things. The big questions. The things that really matter to people. I mean, what is it that makes these things matter? Sometimes I feel like nothing matters at all. It’s not personal, just the sort of nihilism that comes about by just opting out. What’s not personal? How could something a person does not be? What’s the point of even living if what you’re taking to be reality is something which you may never have any satisfaction from. Isn’t that the point? I can’t see the point of what you’re on about. All I can think about is greed and suffering. Those two things making the world round. Don’t let that break your concentration though. You are a busy lady.
In the morning there used to be an excited thing going on. We can have sweets today. Lent was somehow excused, fine by us. So it was up and off to mass for 11 then the parade afterwards. We’d begin to stuff ourselves with chocolate. St Patrick? Who was that? An excuse to eat sweets.
The ‘floats’ would go by. Fitzies always had a good one. Usually their flatbed delivery truck with some green on the back, maybe people playing some music and a couple of footballers. It was very exciting and mostly disappointing. Probably the sugar crash. I don’t know what I was expecting, really. I thought it was rubbish but all I had to compare it to was Dublin and New York I spose. There were some ‘tractors-towing-trailer’ floats, the fife and drum band and we hung around holy ground because most of the crowd would gather around Garvey’s.
My dad told me his brother slashed his leg open with a big blade on St Patrick’s day while they were off galavanting in the countryside and they got into a lot of trouble for it. Beatings and groundings as far as I can remember.
Roll on and probably 1993 or 4, we’re queueing for the cinema and the poster which had a special Patrick’s day viewing of and unmemorable random film had a piece of masking tape drawn across it with the words. “St Patrick’s day screening” written on it in pen. Darack O Seaghdha did some creative adjustment and changed it to ‘St Prick’s’ day. That turns out to have been memorable.
Now it’s a bit of a turning up of the nose affair. What a load of shit, I’ll most likely say. Just a fucking guinness-selling festival, filled with idealistic nonsense, based around a culture long gone which, anyway was wracked with oppression and repression. Manchester town hall all lit up green, people walking around pissed with oversized guinness hats. Another halloween. Just another christmas.
But surely there must be some good in it. Bringing the Irish together as a family all over the world. I can’t understand it now. Aren’t we kind of family with the people we share a space with? Does Ireland still need to hang on to this charming-yet-hard-done-by badge. Are we looking for sympathy? Empathy? What do we need now? What does ‘being Irish’ mean now? A massive piss-up.
As a human I sometimes find it difficult to think about who I really am in the world. As if, somehow I need to be told where to go and what to do. I need an army of people to tell me where to be and at what time. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. Rich people pay good (probably bad) money for that sort of thing. Not that I’m judgmental. I’m more of a free spirit without the free bit. As long as being free requires your consent then that’s me. Let you not read this and think me vulnerable though. Oh no. I am strong. Strong like an umbrella. My ribs are firm and the stretchers do their job. And when it’s not raining I walk, tapping my ferrule authoritatively on the pavement. Authoritatively. There must be easier words than that to use. To be honest. I’m more into using my hood these days as the brolly got a bit awkward. I felt like I was drawing unnecessary attention to myself as I playfully swung it in time with my step. It’s good, you know but with a hood you can just be wearing it all the time. You would have to forget the whole jacket to forget the hood. I loved that umbrella. For all its structural disintegrity, for its unpredictable interactions with myself and those around me. All artificially held together, defying reality.