Prisoner of the State

Ballina, Co Mayo–  I am trapped in this country.  As I await judgement I do what any red-blooded American woman would do…I hit up the spa.  A full body massage, light pressure and a seaweed snuggle, let’s detox shall we?  Hot TubWelcome to The Icehouse, a salmon weir turned radiating retreat an hour south of Sligo. This place ticks a few of my boxes with an accommodating staff, various treatment options, the Heritage suites with antique furnishings, etc.  I swim and sauna at least once a week at home but trust me, The Icehouse in Ballina is like a whole new world.

I wander around this uninhabited dreamworld unaware of where I am going. I still have no idea what time it is. This pink twinkle palace is an aromatherapy room that smells like milky lavender fairy dust. How did I get here?

The relaxation area has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river Moy, with fresh fruit, infused water, blankets from Foxfords and headphones with snooze tunes.  To watch a river flow without hearing it in complete silence presents like magic.

Screenshot 2019-04-08 at 00.48.04It is like taking a tranquilizer. I am paralysed. I reach optimum levels of clarity here, although fleeting, this gives me a sense of hope, a calm.Screenshot 2019-04-09 at 00.26.09.pngI am doing all the things they want me to do and some of the things they don’t.  Over-worked and stubborn, I am in the system.  I am isolated but  have never felt so warm and cozy.  It is gezellig!

Screenshot 2019-04-03 at 22.54.04Am I taking a risk?  Yes.  Am I suffering the consequences? Yes.

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Is it worth it? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Bisou!

Deportation, a Metaphor

Step One: Panic. Yep go right ahead and lose your mind.  You are in freefall.  The letter means that you are in deep.  Resist the urge to react.  Get all your crying out of the way, phone a friend. Chainsmoke.

Step Two: The illusive white knight will not save you.  If he tries, it will cost him. Bigtime.

Step Three: Gather your docs.  A decent trail of you exists in the form or marriage certs, divorce decrees, bank statements, expensive education and demanding qualifiers.

Step Three: Go to Dublin.  Be manhandled…by a bulldog.  Lawyer UP.  Be thankful.  In America they come, they take you.  No notice, no plea just barreling though your front door with the Enforcer.

Step Five: References to your character will be documented.  Jobs offered, you may even volunteer for one of them.  Lobby the people who have known you the longest and make photocopies of the lovely things they write about you, frame them.  These are keepsakes.

Step Six: Various authorities will advise you to marry.

Step Seven: Resist and relent. Be bold about it.

Step Eight: “You wait, you waiiiiiit.” -LD

Step Nine: Make food, eat it.  Read books and be happy you didn’t have to roast your dog over the bonfire to survive.  Or perhaps, you did!

Step Ten:  Follow your heart.  A citizen of Earth.  You live in a world all your own. Stop chainsmoking and start celebrating.  You can’t leave this island even if you tried.  Continue.  Yoga, beach it, you are on the brink.

All of my love,

Haley

PS Take a selfie.

 

Unleash Your Friendbeast

Grange, Co Sligo- I repeatedly go to the library to check out the film Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson because the tagline always makes me laugh.

“He was in the fast lane on the road to nowhere.”

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Lucky for me “nowhere” has turned out to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived, the landscape, the culture, the creativity all conjured up in some metaphysical dreamscape.

I like to observe an idea Julia Cameron calls synchronicity. When combined with intuition, synchronicity allows you to fuel yourself from within, based on your daily life.

Living more exposed in this way, raw, some may even say “naive,” yet with a childlike innocence, I have managed to land here, fat and happy.

I get hurt more often and sometimes harder because I am a free spirit. I am impulsive. I take risks. Instead of going home after getting my heartbroken like everyone else, the summer after my first year of uni I moved to Los Angeles to work for Larry David.

I met and married an Israeli 12 years my senior before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology which is all the rage nowadays connecting our behaviours to our evolutionary history at the tender age of 21.

It didn’t work out after my family and friends disowned me, but that man still loves me to this day! Probably more than most of my family members and definitely longer than anyone who wanted to shame me for it back then.  Now, nobody would bat an eye if I fell in love with a 44 year old artist with an apartment overlooking Bondi Beach, in fact some may applaud it.

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I went back to school to become a nurse, not a doctor despite people warning me that all nurses do is clean shit.  I’ll fly on the wings of an international nursing career anyday.

Sure I became homeless with my dog after my second marriage fell apart in Amsterdam and when everyone expected me to come home, I took a ferry towards a voice calling my name in a van about to spontaneously combust.

I am not saying to be reckless or terribly stupid but I am saying don’t give up on yourself especially when you know who you are or you are at least willing to find out.

And if I were a man, my marriages would just be long term relationships that mom never knew about and my err abortion, err miscarriage, “whatever that was,” would never be heard of again.

It’s hard.  It is so hard to disappoint people and not meet their expectations of you. It is so hard to follow your heart and to try and understand what it is telling you.

 

So when all else fails…

‘stop often, listen closer and look longer’

– Robert Lloyd Praeger (Irish Naturalist)

 

A special shout out to all the people who have helped shape me into the human being I am today.  All of my love.

 

 

Morning Pages

Rinroe, Co Sligo– I prepare this morning for a trot around Mullahgmore head. A portion of this preparation begins by baking six chocolate chip cookies and drinking way too much coffee. I read the Economist to humble myself as I have barely a clue as to what the authors are in sighting or the current state of affairs.

Not to worry, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the bomb food I made last night that has me in high spirits.

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Further more I’ve reorganised my life which is to say minimalism, for me is not the process of having nothing, it is the affair of loving what you have. I will say that eliminating labels when possible brings a subtle calm to your space, priceless.

It snowed here yesterday and although I namaste’d in bed, I am hoping to catch a glimpse of the mountain this weekend.

As for the January doldrums, I’m in the sunshine and all wrapped up.

 

 

Cups and Kings, Kerry’s Ring

Killarney, Co Kerry – True to form, I get into trouble when we go on a break. My art class awaits the drama begrudging at best, to hear of my latest adventure.

To Kerry, I welcome a visit from the King, Gavin James. Performing tonight at the INEC along with every other gay man in Ireland. I will cry mainly because I am exhausted. I have improved my driving skills, proud of all I’ve done. The winding roads, sometimes slick, watch out! For the bumps!

Mild, drizzle and at times, in a fog, this ring brings me a sense of completion. At this stage, I am in the middle. Tense with excitement, simeotaneously terrified as this is the best part of my life. The gold and the grey for whom the bell tolls, moments kept just for me.

I will be out to Reidy’s tonight in my Mustard polo neck and cold, hard cash. If anyone asks, I’ve had the best time.

The festive period has brought insight, trapped as a prisoner in this state. A nurse, an artist, a blend of bold, vulnerable and some sort of beauty.

Best of luck in the New Year!