I can swear I didn’t plan it but my breath would be wasted. Just so happens the weekend I arrive in Dublin coincides with the last few days of the Dublin Writers Festival. On the first evening I’m there, an event featuring Booker Prize-winning novelist Anne Enright, some chap named Hugo Hamilton and Mr. Sebastian Barry is scheduled at Dublin Castle. The topic: “Translating Ireland.”
You wouldn’t think that would be a problem. Rather the opposite. However, I feel myself forced to swear I’m not following Mr. Barry around the world, as I’ll have seen him May 12 in the Chicago area, roughly two weeks before the Dublin event. None of that would have even rung a bell had I not felt the need to blather on about what a wonderful writer he is all over my blog. I have done myself no favors. Rather, I have damned myself.
I don’t know for certain he’s irritated but I am almost annoyed by the coincidence, as it puts me in a “situation.” That I should have to feel discomfort about something I clearly could never have known is just the sort of situation I’m forever finding myself in because I will not SHUT UP. Verbally, yes. In writing? I don’t feel I should have to, not when the world is so awful and words of heartfelt kindness so rare. Why censor that? I just find it odd the one thing which causes me discomfort is having overly praised a writer. Not ripped to shreds but praised. Meeting up halfway around the world with an author I’ve panned would be nothing on this. I’d simply curl my lip and move along. Isn’t it ironic the opposite case has me ripping out my hair?
I’ve not traveled abroad in more than twenty years. With my daughter in Wales over the past semester, I decided to take the opportunity to not just visit her but tour Ireland, as well. Neither of us has been there before. Right now she’s in Italy with her father. A little over a week after, she’s planning to visit a friend in Paris (another American student studying abroad). A couple days after she arrives back in Swansea, I skid into Dublin. From there on it’s LUXURY TRAVEL, baby! Accommodations in the heart of Dublin, tours to far-flung beautiful and historic sites around Ireland. Then a ferry to the UK, where we’re staying on the old village wall in Chester (in a hotel, naturally), England and across from Tintern Abbey in Wales. Then we loop around, stop by Swansea a few days, and back ’round to Ireland I go, meandering back home in a circuitous manner.
Green with envy yet? Wait ’til you see the pictures…
But back to my original topic, feeling like a misbehaving uber-fan, what have I learned? Will this experience turn me into a self-censoring, conventional person? Hell, no! I wish more people would be so nice to me, had confidence in my dreams and pride in my accomplishments. Will I cease and desist? I thought it over and, again, no. Nothing will stop my praise or even over-praise, just as nothing will censor my wrath. So take that, writers and artists, people of note and those who are under-appreciated. Everyone should have such problems and the world would be better for it.
By the way? In the middle of this screed I paused to buy tickets for the Enright/Hamilton/Barry event. Chew on that, world. And, I may buy even more tickets for more events! It’s insane, isn’t it?
Best not answer that.