We took the guided tour of Trinity College, which included the “Book of Kells” exhibit. You are not allowed to take photos, but there are plenty of souvenirs in the gift shop. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, so I suppose whatever it consisted of I would have been impressed.
They enlarged pages from the manuscript and mounted them on the wall, complete with backlighting. There were collections of other wood and leather bound manuscripts on display, along with an assortment of the dyes thought to have been used.
As I moved from one panel to the next, stopping to read the description and to examine the minute details (the tour guide told us to be on the lookout for a cat in one of the pages, but I couldn’t find it) I was in awe of not only the work, but the dedication to it.
There was one panel in particular that I kept returning to. A 10th century riddle that I simply couldn’t walk away from, knowing there was a chance I would never be able to find it again, no matter how long I combed through the internet. So I put down my bag, brought out my journal and jotted it down.
My journey to Ireland’s sacred landscapes wouldn’t be complete without visiting Trinity College in Dublin. For what could be more sacred to a writer than walking the same path as once travelled by Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker (to name but two)?
I continued to be inspired and can’t wait to return. Please visit my website to read my latest blog post.
“Not someone you’d want to meet, the Washer at the Ford. The Bean Nighe. Certainly not someone you’d want in charge of your laundry. For if she sets to washing for you, it is your burial garb she’s fretting over. It is said that the Bean Nighe are the spirits of women who died in childbirth, cursed to this work until the time when they would have died naturally.”
Read my review of “At the Ford” on my website.
One night, as we gathered for supper, Thorn asked us to choose a line from something we’d written that we felt best represented our personal journey to Ireland. Something that spoke to us and that we would carry with us.
Each of us wrote our chosen line on a sheet of paper. Thorn took the sheet back to her cabin and in the quiet hours of the night, combined those lines into a shared poem.
Read the poem here :
“These rocks, these stones
this wind and loam,
Soon, it became our anthem…
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calling to Brigid
offering to leave
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She sat making notes about where she was heading, when to meet for lunch, and (most importantly) what time she needed to be back. She didn’t want anyone to be waiting on her, much less a bus full of Pilgrims.
As they stepped out into the morning sun, they surveyed the area and headed toward their predetermined destinations. Some would remain on the bus and head to Yeat’s Grave. She had decided to explore Sligo with the others, taking advantage of a shopping day.
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