Ireland. Sigh. Need I say more? Oh, wait, you aren't here, dear reader! You can't smell this fresh air after a "soft" day (what they call a day of steady, gentle rain here). You can't see the misty beauty of vintage storefronts and cobbled "footpaths" (Irish sidewalks). You can't taste sautéed spinach and onions fresh from Olive's garden...but already these delights have inspired me to start painting, beginning (of course) with our domicile for the next 30 days.
In the first day in Listowel (pronounced "Lis-toll", with the emphasis on the second syllable), Diane Pike and I met more people, made more connections and accumulated more new friends than in any one day that I can remember. The folks here are genuine. You can see when they are happy, and you can tell when they're not. Communication is straight forward and connected. People look you in the eye when they speak. And, here's a fresh one for you, they aren't all staring at phones.
The local pub is a community gathering center. Everyone knows everyone else, and they hang out together regularly. Whether it is to watch a match, listen to music or just to pause at the end of the day, you can bet you'll know someone when you walk into the pub. What a wonderful way to top off a day! Community connection, some song and dance, and a glass (or pint) if you're the sort who enjoys one.
One of the facets of my artistic life which I most cherish is connection with others, whether it is through the process of creating or collecting. The delicate and precious web of connectivity between people, their energy and their spirits. In this place (which I am residing in for the month because of art!) the connections are multiplied, energized and deepened. I am so deeply moved by the spirit of the people of this town.