My Lost Irish Life


Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

A head cold is not big deal, but it does change the worldview for a while. As in, I turn on the TV, a rare thing for me. Between the coughing and the sneezing, etc., I am not much good for anything by the end of the day. So I take the doctor’s advice to rest. I lounge with the remote in one hand and a cup of hot tea in the other. And I watch myself watch TV. It’s an odd disconnect. I admire the new cars, delight in the cute spring clothes, envy the smooth skin and shiny hair on the models. I want to vacation in Estonia. Then the Inner Critic who often tells me I’m wrong when I write, tells me I’m a hypocrite. I don’t need or want any of those things that look so tempting. Maybe my vulnerability comes from a slight fever or the effect of the high-test cough medicine.

As some of you know, I was once determined to live what I think of as my Irish life. I would move to the west of Ireland for an extended visit, live modestly in a tiny cottage, walk or ride the bus, eat sensibly and spend my days writing. I would not need much. I could live in jeans and sweat shirts, own one pair of sturdy walking shoes, use the computer once a week at the library. I would be undistracted by the sumptuous life and its demands. I still believe in the need to reuse, repurpose, recycle and refuse the unnecessary. More and more I am committed to simplicity and responsible consumption. 

Obviously, I stayed in the US, but I still long for a pedestrian life that eludes me in suburbia. The barrage of advertising and the demands of the virtual world pull me away at times, tempt me to break my promise to myself to spend the best of my days creating stories and poems to contribute to the world.

If such a promise were easy would it be important? An easy promise is like giving up anchovies for Lent. I don’t like hairy fish, so that would get me no credit, karma-wise. I will probably resort to mindless channel surfing again tonight, but some part of me will be alert to the risk. And there is that stack of library books.

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