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 stubborn 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.  This is where magic happens.

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, IRL – 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!

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.