Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday afternoon with Seamus Heaney

Five days after ‘the day of shame,’ and I’ve just returned from my first trip outdoors.
Day of shame or not, I couldn’t let this be the first Saturday in nineteen years where I didn’t get my Irish Times. And fancy that. When I opened the paper, there, like a gift, was a supplement celebrating Séamus Heaney, who’s just turned 70.

Seamus Heaney.

Reading about him today was like drinking a tall ice-cold glass of water after weeks of thirst.

It’s not just his poetry.
It’s the way he looks . . . so robust and just a tiny bit amused. And the reaction he inspires in people - a warm feeling that makes people want to like him, or aspire to be him.
And then, of course, there is his poetry, which at first didn’t appeal to me, and it was only when I snuck off to a lunchtime reading when I should have been doing the shopping that I began to understand why people loved it, and him, and now I can’t read it without hearing his clay-capped northern voice.
And after reading about Seamus Heaney and how much people admire him and his work, I’ve started to feel better.
I’m finally ready to ready to rise above the three days of embarrassment induced fever and nausea I’ve gone through and put the day of shame behind me.
Which is why I don’t think I want to go into much more detail about what happened, other than to say I now know the eccentric red-haired lady is actually Dómhnall’s mother.
I also know that she was not always red-haired or eccentric and that she was, in fact, until recently a pale-eyed, pale-haired woman who slipped from the house to the car now and then and was rarely seen to smile.
I also now know that the oddly attractive garda’s name (who I no longer find even the tiniest bit attractive) is Seán, and that when he questioned Dómhnall’s mother about her ‘harassment’ of me, she told him . . .
No. I can’t write it.
I’m starting to feel nauseous again . . .
I think I might just go and read some more about Séamus Heaney.

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