Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Traveling into other worlds - Dublin!

A lonely sheep on the Vee Gap
The journey to the CAP Awards at Teachers Club last week was varied, to say the least!

After the drive along the misty Vee Gap with Jane, who was my companion, driver and (wheelchair) pusher for the trip, we had a train journey from Thurles to Dublin, followed by a trip on the Luas, and a walk to the hotel.

I was conscious how basic my life is at home. I have a very simple routine, don't see many people, live in a quiet town, a very quiet road. I see a field. Trees. Birds. Little or no noise. No overload of sensations of sounds and smells and sights.
It is kind of nice to be in a totally different environment, especially if I know it is only going to be for 24 hours or so.

So many shops. Noise. Road Works. Busses. People busy going about their day. People in business suits, tracksuits. Buggies being pushed. Blank expressions in some, others deep in thought.

I rested for the afternoon while Jane went out to meet a friend for a museum visit.
At the edge of sleep I did think of the evening ahead. What if I win? I already felt a winner. Being shortlisted for me was a huge honour. But what if I win, what would I say... One of the thoughts was that although writing is seen as a solitairy occupation, working on Into the Light  was the opposite. So many people's energy is in this book. From the emails I received from the authors I quote in the book, to all who supported me along the way. Financially, practically, emotionally... Creating and writing Into the light was a beautiful experience. And it continues to be beautiful.

By the time I had to get up and washed and dressed to go the the CAP Award evening, I would have gladly stayed in bed, watch a movie, or read a book and go to sleep. But I had to get up! The whole reason for this Dublin adventure was the awards event.

Getting entry to the Teachers Club in Dublin, where the event was held, was an adventure in itself.
I had asked in advance if there was wheelchair access. Glad I did! To get in, we had to go to the back of the building via a lane way. Pasted the sausage factory... We didn't see that, but knew we had to look out for number 36. It was dark. The number is handwritten on a dark-ish wall.
When we did find it, I had to make a phone call to the Teacher's Club. We were told that the gate would be opened and to drive in and that we would be met outside. We wheeled in, and found the completely glass outside elevator.

Taigh came down the large metal fire escape and at first didn't see us. (looking for a car). He was wearing a suit, but also a "Russian Hat" one of those woolly things with flaps over the ears. An interesting combination. He unlocked the elevator. A stored trolley was removed. Jane and I went i and were told NOT to press the red button. Taigh closed the door behind us and made his way up the fire escape again. We were wondering if there was any button that we SHOULD press to actually go up a few floors...
As it turned out Taigh had to turn the key from the floor we were headed for. We were moving! Upwards.
Oh I wish I had a video of this event, or even photos. It was quite surreal. A variety of outbuildings at the back of these large houses, huge industrial looking fire escapes. Gates, and this futuristic elevator of which we had no control. We could have been left there all night...

Barry, Aisling and me
We were in!
And were welcomed with open arms. To my delight my niece Aisling and her husband Barry, and Senator Grace O'Sullivan came to celebrate the event with me. Thank you!

As it happens, I did not win, but I am not less proud of having my work considered, and for the amazing comments I received from some of the other writers. I wrote about the actual event at an earlier post here .

Exausted but happy we made our way back to the hotel. Maybe thinking we were in quiet Lismore, we wandered on the road of this lane way.
I thought I heard a truck and quickly directed my chair towards the sidewalk. Jane, thank goodness, pushed me up the sidewalk, as soon after a large recycling collection truck came our way!
I could see the headlines in the follow day's newspapers. "Bodies of two women and a wheelchair found in a Dublin recycling plant..."

The following morning we stopped off at the Hugh Lane Gallery, as it was around the corner. I suggest that if you ever go there to take Jane along. As there is a lot of recent art, she knew a lot of the artist from the time she was in art college. A very entertaining and inspiring visit!

On the way to the Luas and train we had a quick stop at one of those Irish tourism shops. As much green in one shop as you are ever likely to see.

I think - I know - that I prefer the green of the Irish fields!

On the Luas I saw yet another side of life in the big city. Two young women, one of them pregnant and a young man, were talking in that slurred way junkies do. The young man was very kind and concerned for the pregnant girl, whom he didn't personally knew (he asked her name). He advised her to take her scarf and hat off while inside, so not to be cold when out again. He offered Jane his seat.
Three young people living a life so far removed from my own life's experiences. Sad to see. But the kindness of that young man stayed with me as much as the obvious challenges they are facing in their lives.

On the way home in the train, I took the opportunity to rest for a while. To be horizontal. To rest any few minutes I could. I listened to the sounds. Enjoyed the movement of the train. I took a little video of what I saw. Nothing spectacular, but very soothing.

On the Train from Corina Duyn on Vimeo.

I have been resting for most of the week. My body not exactly pleased with the journey, but I am so glad I went. Honoured to have been invited. Touched by the kindness of other writers, of strangers, and of people I know.

Sometimes it is good to just step out of the comfort zone, to challenge the body, and explore the other world. In this case the world of Dublin.

You can Buy a copy of Into the Light Here 


visualsandverbals said...

Good to see you are still trucking along there, Corina. Still read your little book with the birds every now and again. Keep as well as possible. John

Corina Duyn said...

Thanks John. Good to have your company!
Glad the birds are still doing their job.
Been writing since- birds are still there, and roots!

Stay well!