Thinking of Ireland

Ireland is one of those countries that people always imagine visiting, it has a romantic imagery like Paris but of a totally different type.  Paris is thought of as sophistication, champagne and macarons, elegant architecture and art history.  Ireland’s romanticisation is more cozy, old stone castles and rolling green hills, warm friendly pubs and chunky sweaters.

Ireland has always been a place I’ve wanted to go to, the idea of it played a part I’m sure, but mostly it’s about getting to know where I come from.  This in itself is a piece of romanticisation, my closest direct relative to live in Ireland was my great-great grandfather, who left when he was a toddler, it would be more accurate to say my family comes from New Jersey or Ohio.  But there’s something about distant ancestors that exerts a stronger pull on the subconscious than people only two or three generations removed from the present, even if you have no idea who these long ago people were.

Ireland has been more on my mind lately, I’ve thought for years that I would like to spend a few years in Ireland.  I want to experience life where my ancestors came from, Ireland is the firmest location l I have to grab on to, and I can imagine that it is where I would have been from if history (ahem, the English) had been kinder.  As of now I don’t want to live there permanently, it’s anglophone after all, and too Catholic for me (no abortion rights at all, and gay rights are still coming along) but I’d like it to be my home for a little while.  It’s also one of the few countries I would be theoretically employable, Ireland has a rich Viking history, even Dublin was raided a few times and the museums are chock full of artifacts.

In the less abstract ‘sometime’ though, I want to visit Ireland, with my mom.  What’s my heritage is doubly her heritage, she’s never been to Ireland either and I really want to discover it with her.  It’s Mother’s Day in the U.S. This weekend (May 31st in France) so I guess this was on my mind more than usual.  Maybe the summer between the two years of Masters.
That’s all for today, happy Mother’s Day in advance, and if anyone is interested about my family history, I wrote a whole post about it called the Stories that lead to Me which you can find in the Identity tag in my tag cloud.  Hope everyone’s having a good week, and I’ll be writing again soon.


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