Celebrate the Silence of the Snowflakes




Dreams. The re-telling of which is, I am aware, of zilch interest to anyone apart from the dreamer. However, this might elicit amusement from Corkonians of the Art+Love circle; that wide but narrow clique  from the Palace and The Group via the Father Matthew Hall, the CAT Club, Emmet Place and Lavitt’s Quay through the CCYMS and Triskel, taking in the Kino and all the different kinds of knowledge between the Coal Quay and the College.
Himself and myself arrived in from Melbourne (sunshine) via Vancouver (fog) and Montreal (light powder) to #sneachta in Geneva. It was a true winter wonderland, with Christmas Card trees all the way back over the mountains to Annecy. Inside the house it was +5c, outside it was -6c overnight. Turned on all the heating, lit the fire and took to the leaba for a ‘rest’ at 400. Woke at 8.00 and sat down to watch the first episode of the second series of “The Crown” – which I always call “Queenie”. (Amused to see that as soon as #sneachta was forecast in Ireland, many buddies and connections – including Miriam O’Donoghue + Colm Toibín [I think it was he, brain still Antipodal] took it as an excuse to binge watch “The Crown” and publicly admit same. I presume Emeritus Prof. John A. Murphy [who is IN LOVE with Elizabeth of England] is – literally – in his element, for he is neither in heaven nor in his dotage.]) At 11.00 we went to bed again and woke at 7.00 to the silence of the snow.
Australia is wonderful, but so successful in population and growth, so busy building and hauling goods and rubble and fossil fuels and plastic from one end of the world, one end of the sub-continent, to the other in their double-treble-sized juggernauts, and so used to wide-open spaces that they are FEROCIOUSLY noisy….not just the accent, which I reckon was born of parroting the parakeet….. but also utilising every form of new technology to ensure background ‘music’ everywhere, at all times, that it is a constant hubbub, constant screech, constant air brakes, constant rumble, constant bedumb-benumb-benumb of testosterone-driven instruments and contraptions.
I dreamed that I was writing a PhD and had been given, as the subject of my thesis “The Effect of Climate Change on the Breeding and Rearing of Octopus in the Lower and Middle Harbour”.  A bit baffled by the dissertation, for, in terms of zoology, I have but met the scholars coming home, I was undaunted – in fact quite interested – and began the research from my own accumulated print files. On the middle of Patrick’s Bridge.  Somehow, there was no traffic going North to McCurtain Street or along the quays to St Mary’s or out to Sunday’s Well, Blackpool or Blarney.
I laid out the notes and papers and started to sort them into piles of usefulness. Along came Lís Geary and we went for a walk, upalong Patrick’s Hill. She gathered various pals along the way, including Jack Power and Gerry Murphy. I saw Mary Aherne walking, not in our group, but on her own, on the side of the road, wearing a hooded raincoat – sort of “Handmaid’s Tale” but in beige – looking sad. When I asked her whither so sad, she shook her head and would not tell me. Neither would Lís, but intimated it had something to do with AIDS. We got to Lís’ house and in one bedroom with some 12 mullioned, leaded lights, there were 11 beds (well, 7 singles and 2 doubles) but the trouble was, I deduced, despite the windows, the room never got the morning sun. Then I woke up. It was still dark, silent and snowing.

Isabel Healy

Isabel Healy

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