Cultural Escapism <3

ImageI love those rare mornings when you wake unknowing of what the day will hold. Your mind quick to list the things that should fill those coming hours and yet some small part of you screams for a break from the mundane, a holiday right at home. What better way to escape reality than to delve into the mysterious depths of ancient artifacts, artwork and literature? I roamed the streets of Dublin at 8am contemplating this  fact when a dear friend, once my lecturer in Joyce came to mind. A fellow fanatic of all that is cultural. To my delight he too had greeted this morn tres tot, and so we collaborated for a day of cultural escapism.

We began with light thesis chat over strong brewed coffee, sweetened by honey, his morning cigarette, and my morning contemplation gazing across the still water at Georges Dock. A morning as biting as I have felt so far this autumn, sent us red nosed and blush cheeked across the river Liffey with a weak and yet bright rising sun at our side. ImageOur expedition began with the National Gallery, wandering and pondering through an array of paintings dating from the 13th to the 20th century. Reliving Jack B Yeats’ transformation into the abstract as if it occurred in front of us, and falling in love with the beautiful Lady Lavery, posing as Kathleen Ni Houlihan (female personification of Ireland)…Image

& Walter Osbourne’s beautiful portrayal “The Streets of Dublin”Image

Following this visual feast we made our way to the Chester Beatty Library where we gorged on his extensive collection of artwork, largely French painters, admiring especially the vitality of Ziem’s Venice…

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Dizzied by the beauty and innate grandeur of so many astounding works we walked the memorial gardens of Dublin Castle, collecting our thoughts in silence and soaking up the now striking afternoon sun.

ImageOverloading our greedy souls with one final colossal collection of East Asian, Islamic, ancient Egyptian and Western artifacts. Among my favourites being the rare slabs of jade inscribed with Asian poetry…

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and a collection of historic books dating from the beginning of leather binding.. Image

showcasing some of the most beautiful books I have ever laid eyes upon…

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“Inebriate of air” as Dickinson so perfectly put it (a mystical state that she experienced through her soul’s awareness, so overwhelming & uplifting that she felt as one does intoxicated by alcohol) we left full of history, myth and renewed artistic dreams.

If as Marcus Garvey states, “A people without culture… is a tree without roots” I am now firmly planted in this rich Irish earth, ready to spend winter preparing many shoots for spring bloom.