Wednesday, 23 July 2014

It's a Long Long Way From Tipp To Here

McCarthy's Pub, Fethard, Co Tipperary, Ireland
Catherine, sublime loveliness in the background 
Will she be here tonight?

'Out of town, may not get back in time'

Disappointment descends upon me, and like a cold winter's fog, rendering it impossible to continue scanning the joint, in the vain hope of seeing her if she managed to return on time.

To no avail.

But all the signs were there! Could I have misinterpreted?


The body language, smiles, closeness, were all too real.

Maybe, in the cold light of day, I wasn't quite what she's looking for.

Lately, something appears to be shackling me to solitude. A solitude I neither need nor want.
This 'something' is succeeding in stifling my dreams, extinguishing the flames that burn in every cell of my body; the self-same body that continues to function as it always has and harbours the self-same needs.

This 'something' is cruelly dismissing my desires as I would dismiss any of life's minor obstacles. It is also discarding my needs like they are some surplus, obsolete and irrelevant folly from a time gone by.

As I prepare to board flight 906, the crushing weight of anti-climax adds to the heavy burden of a stuffed-full suitcase. I stumble towards the gate, inhaling powerfully through my nose, in order to take with me the scent of this wonderful land, and, subconsciously trying to fill the empty void growing in the pit of my stomach.

So long bro and sis-in-law, I love you dearly.

So long Ireland, I will return soon; for I love your emerald landscapes, your friendly, inclusive culture, your genuine curiosity for all strangers who cross your path. So long to your fine rural food and world-beating beer. So long to your exquisite accent, the more endearing when spoken by your sparkling, adorable women.

So long Catherine x


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Perfect Requiem

I read this article and  immediately wanted to share it with you. It touched me, profoundly.
The kind of eulogy I'd love from my loved ones.

'You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy is created in the universe and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, ever vibration, every BTU of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid the energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point, you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off you like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue in the heat of our own lives.
And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy is still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone. You're just...less orderly. Amen.'
This is a transcript of a speech given by writer and performer Aaron Freeman on NPR News "All Things Considered".


I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have