Trapped Under a Tree During a Rainstorm

June 23
I was watching what is apparently the Irish equivalent of PBS last night and they were talking about village boundary walls and how significant they were years and years ago. So happy I’m going to the Aran Isles, because that’s where they filmed most of the program. One man was talking about how his aunt wouldn’t let him and his cousins dig around the boundary wall because she said there might be bodies there. I don’t know how common this was, but, at least in his area, when women had miscarriages, they would take their unbaptized babies and bury them under the walls. This was typically done under cover of darkness, and he said miscarriages usually happened because the women would work too hard while they were pregnant.

Suzanne wrote a very cool piece about a grave digger/groundskeeper. I like the contrast between the living body and the dead – the disgusting nature of all bodies full of mucus and blood and come and carcinogens, and the decaying body, be it human or animal; which reminds me, I need to visit St. Michan’s Church.
The green room in Olympia Theater on Dame Street is supposed to be have a poltergeist, and people say that Johnathan Swift haunts St. Patrick’s Psychiatric Hospital. I should take a Ouija board over there and ask him what he thinks of my writing.

“Playboy of the Western World” supposedly caused riots – most popular explanation is that it used the word “shift” – ladies undergarment – outraged people.
“The Shadow of the Glen” – two spaces, two different spiritualities. In the house, it is dark and full of uncertainties and superstition. Outside, “by the grace of God,” nature will provide, the sun always rises in the morning in the East. Power of the oratory – “you’ve a fine bit of talk, stranger.”
Last night’s play was okay – “The Weir.” I think I’ll look it up so I can catch some of the things I missed early on because my ear was still adjusting to the rural accent.

June 24
Last night went to a pub called John Mulligan. It was very cool. I need to take my parents there. They had the best Guinness I’ve ever tasted.
I need to find the Hill of Tara. I think the story of Lugh the Long Handed and the Tuatha De Danann might be where all of the fairie lore originated. Supposedly, the Tuatha De Danann were in a battle against the Fomorians and were losing, and rather than surrender, they retreated into a mystical realm behind the hills.

June 26
Discussing The Book of Evidence. Character that’s given the most life in Freddie’s confession is the woman in the painting, for whom he imagines a very believable history. While I was reading it, I completely forgot that it was all supposed to be in Freddie’s imagination.
1960s – car bombs were generally placed in public areas – outside schools, parks, churches, shopping centers, and not outside police barracks or army bases. That seems very counter intuitive. I don’t get it. Was it to prove that they didn’t have any regard for human life and so were willing to do anything? And I guess if they only blew up police stations and such, then maybe policemen would become martyrs. By attacking the population, they create a distrust in government – people feel that their government can’t protect them – and a war weariness; people would demand that the gov. give in to terrorists to make the killing stop.

Took the bus home. Long ride, very nauseating. By the time I got off, I could barely stand up straight. Saw the garda arresting a group of people for no known reason. Woman was particularly annoying, trying desperately to play innocent and doing a terrible job. “Seriously? Are you serious? Seriously?” One of the guys standing nearby who was not wearing a uniform called one of the officers by his first name, Eddie, and let him use his mobile phone, presumably to call the station. I wonder if the first guy was just off duty or if he actually just knew this officer on a first-name basis. Probably the former, but it’s nice to pretend that the garda are just not so uptight. I was just thinking about how they don’t carry guns and how the UI just started allowing our campus cops to start carrying guns. Now that’s a good idea. I love going to class everyday knowing that I could be killed at any moment by some jackass with an eighth-grade education who thinks my phone is a gun. I always remember that time the cops busted into that artists studio without a warrant or anything and shot him dead because, they claimed, they thought his phone was a gun. I highly doubt it. That sounds like a bunch of dirty cops pulling a hit to me.
But anyway, there also wasn’t room in the garda’s car for all of the arrestees and the garda, too, so the guy with the mobile let them use his car. That would never happen in the US.
I hadn’t noticed until today when I heard one thunderclap while in class, but when it rains here, it’s usually just rain – there’s almost never a thunderstorm, whereas in Iowa, it hardly ever rains without it being a thunderstorm. It must have to do with the proximity to the ocean.

Malcolm MacArthur: real-life Freddie Montgomery (“Book of Evidence”) Tried to look him up on Wikipedia and it went directly to an article titled, “Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented.” There’s not a whole lot about him, except that he’s dangerous and killed a couple of people. Lame.
Northern Ireland trip tomorrow. I’ve been looking up some places that I’d like to see, if we get the chance. We haven’t gotten the trip itinerary yet.
The LIST:
Grace Neill’s (form. Kings Arms, 1611) Donaghadee, County Down.
Beltany Stone Circle, Tops Hill, Raphoe, County Donegal. “Baal Tinne” = “Fire of Baal” = Sun god Baal, dates back to 2000 BC, older than Stonehenge.
Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim, 1185 = oldest intact castle in Ireland. also Dunluce Castle ruins in Nr. Portrush, 1300s.
Staying in tonight. Have to catch the bus at IES at 9am. If the Luas isn’t running, I’ll have to run, run.

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