26 May 2018

There it is again. That amazing urge to be alive. I wake up and walk through the garden.  Eight different roses are in bloom. After breakfast, I carefully go through the motions to get the dreaded sick cert and R walks me back from the surgery under the flowering linden trees and briefly, the scent reminds us of a visit to Paris many years ago with a moody teenage daughter and everybody arguing for a while until life/love caught up with us. A scent bringing back tiny sparks of memories that mean family and us and always and wide open hearts.

There it is again. The realisation that this memory sits inside our cells and all we need to do is lift our heads to the trees and say, Paris, laughing quietly.

To say that my health is rapidly improving would be an overstatement, but often within overstatements are kernels of truth and frequently at the nub of a kernel can be found the essence of possibility. See, I actually have the energy to type out such a convoluted drivel of a sentence.

Like so many people attached to Ireland one way or another, I spent a good part of the last two days on various news and social media sites following the run-up to the referendum. It's a lot more than voting for the right to have an abortion and I won't go into it. There's others who have done a great job explaining this.

As with the same-sex marriage referendum of 2015, tens of thousands of Irish people working/living abroad travelled home to vote (there is no postal vote for Irish citizens abroad).
Following #hometovote can restore your idea of dedication and may even make you cry.

But then this: Yesterday, a train service from London to meet the ferry in Fishguard (Wales) crossing to Rosslare (Ireland) was experiencing some hold-ups and delays. A considerable number of Irish people were on that train who would now miss the boat and thus their chance to vote in the referendum. Several passengers used twitter et al. to alert the railway co. and the ferry operator and both responded, providing a bus to bring the passengers to the boat, while the ferry operators agreed to wait until everybody was on board.  There were massive cheers from the other ferry passengers.

Life is a string of anecdotes that keep me afloat.


  1. So often the best in life is thought of in fiery terms. The spark of life, passion burning bright, a heated desire. When your writing is best, you are on fire. So much of this post will stay with me, and I will read it many times. My favorite line here is "The realization that this memory sits inside our cells and all we need to do is lift our heads to the trees and say, Paris, laughing quietly." I'm glad you are feeling a bit better these days. I am also happy for the women of Ireland.

  2. The ferry story made me cry, I didn't even see it coming. Yes, life is so beautiful is we look for it. I love this hopeful, full-of-possibilities post, and I smiled at your memory of Paris, the moodiness of teenagers, the way families in unfamiliar settings sometimes bicker, until they catch the deeper sense of it all, the being together, the experiencing something new together, that in memory will be perfect.

  3. Yes. Those moments, those stories- they are what give me hope and frequently make me cry with the pureness of intent.
    May the essence of possibility remain strong in your heart, Sabine. What a writer you are!

  4. Wide open hearts. Afloat! Thank you for the links and the garden photo.

  5. it gives me hope that Catholic Ireland has voted for abortion. meanwhile in the US, more and more restrictions are being applied by those that care only for a fertilized egg and not the actual child that follows and women here will soon, I fear, be going back to back alley clinics. they will not stop abortion, they will only cause more women to die.

    in other matters, I'm glad the urge to be alive blossoms in you.

  6. I loved reading this, that moment of hope and the memory in our cells. Thank you for writing it all down and sharing the story of the ferry. Yes, hope.

  7. Your recollection of Paris reminded me of a quote from Kurt Vonnegut (it's doing the rounds, so apologies if you've read it recently):"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" (It struck me as life affirming and poignant that a man who had witnessed the bombing of Dresden should clearly take this idea very seriously).

  8. Every anecdote about the Irish referendum suggests that it had to happen in the way it did. My only suggestion is this: Should men be allowed to vote on this issue? Isn't it one of those rare occasions when, given the subsequent burden, it should be women only?