Sligo- When I was a schoolgirl, an Irishman stared into me and asked,
“Haley, can you tell someone you love them with your eyes?” I stared right back into him with a gentle reply,
“Yes, you can.”
It was unlikely that I had kept up with the readings he assigned but I knew something about the character of Hester Prynne. It was my wild eyes and not my wit that got me through a vast amount of formal education. I revel in my unlearning.
For St Patrick’s I decided to honour the Queen of Connacht with a we hill walk.
The north west of Ireland has a dense concentration of megaliths. These can include dolmens, cairns or burial grounds. Bones, tools, white quartz and beads are often found during the excavations of these sacred sites.
I walk the 40 minutes up to see the Queen, who was said to be married many times.
These could be actual marriages or ritual weddings wherein kings would symbolically marry the “one who intoxicates and brings great joy,” Maev, Meadhbh, Méabh, medu, mead, St.Patrick’s Day, male dominated debauchery, nuns marrying Jesus- see where this is going?
Anywho, I am no historian.
I make it to the top and around the cairn (this is one of three potential burial sites so it may just be a pile of lucky rocks, who.knows.) I find myself walking down the path into Maev’s Forest. On a previous night walk up Benbulben a fella told me that the English cut down all the trees here.
So now, you will find these little pockets where the people have attempted regrowth and they are called forests.
Once down the opposite side I continue into the village of Strandhill. When you use google maps here, hitchhiking time is estimated which I find hilarious and quite comforting now that I am far from my car.
I arrive at Hangar 1 of the old airport, The Strandill Markt. There I meet my friend Sarah of the Black Sheep Bakery with Larry her mascot. We are friends at our day jobs wherein I go to her and complain, she laughs and then we drink tea.
I stop by the Sushi Sisters serving it up to the hipsters of Sligo. I enjoy seeing the movement of a country, refining simplicity and up for anything. With my father’s words buzzing in my brain I continue on my way.
He has always told me to follow my heart. Recently he has added “and stay attractive.”
I will take a holistic approach to this advice as it serves me best. He sends me a selfie from a ski lift in Taos.
Whatsapp has informed me that it will save all of my voice recordings to my Gmail account. Why? My data footprint will now consist of an 80/20 blend of appropriate and inappropriate images, epic anti-intellectual monologues and a blog about the possibility of being me.
As always thank you for your time, continue wasting it, and read this week’s poem.