Dublin, a series of small villages linked by canals, bridges and some tree lined Dublin suburbs. Downhill into town, uphill home in the evenings. From here, the Dublin Mountains are a snowy backdrop behind the clock tower and the glistening dome of the church in Rathmines. From here a few minutes by bike in either direction and I am there.
This week I am assisting on a creative project in Portobello. Busy, exciting, exhausting. Every evening, crashed out in this room, my eyes are drawn to the view and memories of that daily cycle. Up past the pub on the corner, still the same, around the fancy speciality tea shop, a new addition.
This old cinema is where I saw Elvis Costello and the Attractions play. The first photographic project I did for college was a portrait of some old windows in the side streets behind the church. My dreamy efforts at sketching trees took place along these banks. Then all I wanted to do was get away, always associating this city with the pain of growing up, blaming it all on dirty Dublin.
The wild lanes of Ireland will clear the cobwebs from your brain. They will connect you to the beauty and simplicity of the seasons always turning. They will open you to the magic of the small and the hardy in nature. Grounding and soothing.
But here in the capital, people interact and create sparks of energy and magic. Light dances on the water and the twinkling windows where people eat dinner in public expose the wonders of human daily ritual.
Time to forgive and forget. As winter lingers I am warming to the glow of these streets again. Encountering the ghosts of other Dubliners, their voices of confidence and cocky optimism. I am drinking it in. Storing it up for the return journey to the lakeshore. Reclaiming Dublin as my city too and even seeing the beauty in it……