No Saints Only Soul Food

Sligo, IE- Fair play to this country for they are attempting to tame this beast! After a summer long battle of who came first, when it comes to chicken, I like it fried. As an undocumented immigrant, I am asking for permission to regulate in this country of green gold. I want to write an essay called “Expat to Immigrant, How Being Wealthy, Educated and Homeless Saved My Life.”

Below is a photo I saw on Facebook of my neighbour, friend and County Councillor at the Celtic Fringe Festival in Grange chatting to the Minister Of Justice who holds my destiny in the palm of his hand.  I’d like to believe she is saying, “Ah Haley this American Nurse lady is lovely and not such a total menace to society.  The benefits outweigh the risk with this one!”

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Either way, can’t complain! The food, baby! It is the best.

 

 

As a southern bell, I crashed the debutants, stole their dates and never got caught. Shortly after I lived in Australia, Amsterdam, went off to see the Wailing Wall and the girls of Harajuku, so I see the logic behind the hesitation. Am I just? In it for the benefits? Is it real?  Will I leave this country?

I see myself and those around me and I have to celebrate because when it is easy to stay, I leave.  I like the challenge now but I would like a holiday sooner rather than later!

I made this collage a while back when I told a friend that I want to see Brazil.  When they asked me why, I told them that “I Want to See Christ the Redeemer because in some way, eventually, God equalises all of us.”

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This is me thinking, hmmm what will I have for dinner tonight?

I am a bit nostalgic lately looking back at my childhood.  I took my time.  If this photo doesn’t sum it up, then I’m not sure what will.  If you can’t tell, it is not my birthday.  I think everyone cuts their own hair at some stage.

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Eventually, my wings will grow back. I have built a pretty cage here, my home with all the paintings, all the blankets and the big ole lovin’ cup.  My nickname is Haleybird.

 

What does one do in a sea of limbo?

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Swim.

 

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This is me debating whether or not it is worth the wait?

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This is me realizing I am still alive.  

To all my friends and family I will NOT be traveling far this season.

Thanks for all the love!

Special shout out to Mikler, I am so ready to meet your bun!

Last Drag

Sligo, IE- All aboard and a broad, hopping the train to Connolly Station. Oil paint stains my trousers from this mornings art work. It’s messy. Not quite finished with yer man, but I’m getting there.

This scene, at Staad Abbey, I recall the first time I visited the small village of Grange, Benbulben covered in misty fog. I had never heard of it.

Happy to submit him to the local art exhibition with the master, Eamonn Dowdican. A charity even for the Sligo Cancer Society.

When I first moved here, all I wanted was a home with running water and warmth. After living in a van for three months, I figured, I deserved it. I am delighted I chose to pursue uncharted territory, only because now, no plans and no expectations I can really enjoy the mystery. Although it is not without heartache, the ecstasy is well worth it.

With Cairde, an arts fest, going down in Sligo I took to socialising along the Vegabond Poetry Trail. Favorite, Una Mannion charmed us all. Her memories growing up in Tennessee with the history of moonshiners at the Appalachain Trail, gave us all an escape. Unfortunately they caught me in an awkward state at my fav spot, Bookmark, although this is likely, as it is my norm.

What a face! Sitting here on the way to Dublin I wonder what the fan boys of Damien Dempsey will look like? Tommy, Darren, Nidge weasel?

The Geishas are framed and looking at this painting, I’ll get lost in it forever. At the bedside, in the morning, before I sleep sound even as the winds, they sometimes howl.

The best news is that Ireland has recognized me as a nurse in the general division.

After all, 21 months since I began, I am relieved. Now, I will attempt to live and work, this is the gift. I’m sure I’ll dream up some new unlikely feat, but for now I’m happy to be in good company with the 7% of American nurse applicants accepted in Ireland last year.

Happy weekend to you all, safe travels, big smiles, magic wands, wave ’em.

Sunshine State of Mind

Sligo, IE- It is a strange day when you suddenly realize that everything you are and everything that you will be, even your own story, is a manifestation of the mind, your mind. This includes believing or disbelieving negative and positive judgements from others as well as societal impacts that we all face.

Streedagh summer solstice party with Maeve and Sue

As my birthday bombarded me with the fear that I do in fact age, it also delivered some pretty beautiful moments as well.  I submit to manifesting a bit of age, only because I appreciate all the wise words and guidance I get from the universe.  Well worth the single grey hair I have. The best was hearing my niece wish me a happy birthday and telling me about her growth out of nappie land. Amazing, I congratulated her as now she is an adult, basically.

Strandhill for a chin wag.

My nursing journey continues but I’m nearing the home stretch. Meaning I’ll either call Ireland home or I’ll be lounging on a beach somewhere in Florida, my native home. The weather has been divine, almost Floridian actually and my friend gave me two sunflowers for my birthday which I’m pretty pumped about.  Grow baby grow.

The Geishas are officially finished and I’m moving on to a couple near Staad Abbey, a rocky beach where I lived when I first moved to Sligo.

 

 

Streedagh dip for the ole’ 3-2!

 

Streedagh Dip 2

I am currently changing moods, away from the deep end and on to something a little lighter.  I was initially taken by the simple country sound of these two and then it hit home with the album cover.  Unlike most American country music duos, these two look nothing alike and their English.

 

Thank you for reading and until I see you all again,

BISOU!

Your Personal Best

Grange, Co Sligo- Summer has arrived and knowing the weather here, it will quickly leave us. Enjoy it while it lasts! I see my friends in Maugherow doing just that.

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Experimentally, I leave my phone home when I go out in Dublin. I find it so freeing, until I panic because I can’t figure out how to get back over the canal and out of the city center. Solution, take a side street and follow a taxi. Alas, paradise and my destination found at Clontarf. The downside to this equation is that you cannot take photos, except with your mind.

Walking about, I lost the sunset behind the clouds of a pinky purply magic act, before the two stacks and across the wooden bridge onto Bull Island. To my surprise on the trot back, the sun rose. Everything is silent when your heart skips a beat, there is such a feeling.

Back home my we garden is a growin’ and I love it so. I like planting from seeds because it challenges doubt, doubt about everything, an endless battle, a will they, won’t they melodrama that works out. Eventually, I end up singing to them and well, they did, they do, grow. The borderline radishes are successional and I pick them with care, as needed so it never gets too crowdy. I’m not one for food photos or being super healthy in general but God do I enjoy homegrown veg. It’s like a superpower.

Who doesn’t greet a daisy? Nobody.

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In other news, I’m finished with the latest cardboard series. This little number was dealt with on a 2am manic spree of epic proportions a few weeks ago.  At first I thought I was the tallest flower, then I thought I was the bird but really they are one in the same.  These types of revelations are why I choose art over and over again.

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Pretty chuffed with the new Courtney Barnett album Tell Me How You Really Feel despite the intense cover art. Sad that I missed her in Utrecht, blame the taxman.

Kind of a hodgepodge post, such is life. Bisous!

Baby Don’t You Go and Cut Your Hair

Jax Beach, FL- Today we celebrate my niece’s second birthday! Luckily my sister has a good sense of humor and Facetimed me for the festivities. We sang the birthday song and the little babe got a taste of fire. Grandmas, grandpas, uncles and sisters that live in far away places came together to celebrate. Super delighted to be there in a pix- elated version of myself. I sang and although they couldn’t see, my feet were dancing away in this granny flat. I watched her open some gifts and laughed at my sister’s funny faces. I imagined eating cake and drinking a beer in the hot heat of Florida’s pre-summer. Usually technology frightens me only because it has far surpassed our understanding of it. Or mine at least. Anyways, happy birthday to my moon baby!

In other news, I have found my salty soul in Strandhill, continued painting on cardboard, sometimes on wood and writing blatant poetry.

 

Frances McDormand                                                                                    

Frog in my throat get out. Goway.

Smile first thing in the morning light as the birds volley,

let the air out. Mind yourself and listen to what they say.

Frog in my throat get out. Goway.

Scratch and burn, fags at the ballet,

frog in my throat get out. Goway.

Me and Megan, we’ve got the same bag. She won’t folly,

frog in my throat get out? Goway,

smile first thing in the morning. Light as the birds, volley.

 

Florida Girls

Amsterdam- Oscar season, art and self-care teach me how to play.  I enjoy visiting a city I know so well.

Conditioned for sex, I wrote-in The Florida Project for best picture. The main characters engaged, Mooney and Halley.  The ghetto queen myth, debunked. Animatism (also seen in Two Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,) sexualism, no boundaries, Dafoe delivers like a love stain.  Better Than Sex.

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Medical doctor and photographer Erdal Kinaci’s The Third Eye captivates me. Sensitive and raw, pretend to not see (read Blindness, Jose Gonzalez-don’t watch the film, ugh).  This is 1/100 and I am terrified to bring her home.

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The canals did freeze and we lived in a painting for a day. People enjoy being in places they normally wouldn’t be, walking on water.  The joy and safety in that, is enough for me to keep going.

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See you in Sligo.

PS Frances is the real AmWo