Monday, June 24, 2013

Laura Bartram

What is your favorite thing about Inishturk?
Every color in Inishturk is vivid. PINK SKY at nightfall and DARK GREEN hills and all the lovely greys of rock and sheep and usually sky. Oh, and every yellow flower--I learned that the yellow flag irises are here called daffodils. Isn't that nice?  I think my other favorite thing has to be the walk to the site (which we are now done doing at 7:45AM!).  I don't encounter hills like that very much in my life in the States. You have to think this walk makes you feel alive, and the pain it brings is an even greater reminder of how fragile it is on an island like this.

What would be one distinguishing characteristic of the Irish people that you've met?The Irish people I've met are all very resourceful, which I think comes from their willingness to teach and share and to learn over and over. I see this in all the construction workers who've helped our novice hands shim rocks into place, or teach us Irish slang (perhaps I should say shlang?), or even the poet at the Inishturk pub who let Tara and I read his poems. Sharing without an expectation of expertise. But they are also incredibly mischievous, in a way I do not always understand. A glimmer of the eyes.

Most surprising thing you've experienced?  Finishing the project in nine days! And the winds!

Favorite food so far?Lamb from Inishturk. You can taste that these lambs had a great life. And obviously, BANOFFEE.

Words to evoke the five senses of Inishturk.  Sight, smell, taste, sound, touch.sixth sense?  SIGHT: hewn ROCKS with even striations across the whole island, yellow flowers, dogs runnin' wild.  SMELL: moss, salt spray, seaweed, the oaty musk of Guinness and the slight twinge of sheep defecation.  SOUND: wind boxing my ears, the generator running, dancing Irish voices, the folk music at the pub, and the crashing exhales of the ocean.  TOUCH: the texture of the inside of my work gloves.  SIXTH SENSE: banshees on the walk back from the pub.

How will you see stones differently from now on?  With a little resentment to my own mind for presuming that all stones form a wall.

If you had to pack all over again, what would your bring more of and less of?  I packed the perfect amount. No more, no less.

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