From up on Garraun you can see out along Renvyle peninsula. Glasilaun, Lettergesh, Mullaghloss, and Tullycross somewhere hidden. Names known since I’ve known names.
Distilled summers of wave on wave, collapsing in rushes, scrambling down grassy slopes. The sea so broad and wide below you can’t take it all in. Or in the other direction, up the bogs, soft soft, following rivers, to the Black lake or the Garden lake over Kylemore or Shanabheag in Currywongan where John Joyce has his bees. And winter nights sunk in the soft brokenspringed bed with a gale whistling on the thick lumpy gable and the ceaseless roar of the ocean behind.
And Mweelrae rising behind Letterettrin and looming over Killary harbour. The Atlantic never far away. Sea salt in the veins of air. I can see a car trace along the far side of the lake on the potholed road.
Down there Wilde coined ‘savage beauty’. A literary tourist’s phrase, now a tag painted so often it crumbles under the layers, like any good cliche. A pair of rooks, or ravens, circle overhead, black raggedtipped wings against the tumble of clouds.
Out there on the tip of Rosroe Wittgenstein soaked up the harassed solitude, grappling with logic and language games. Only hardy sheep and stubborn buckled trees and acid loving mosses and the creases in a grandmother’s hands.
Right below, Lough Fee, and then a river across a little gap to Lough Muck, all part of the Culfin fisheries. Uncle Jackie won his World Masters fly fishing championship with a stump of a brownie from one of those banks.
Following, chasing, alone up here. What am I chasing? I cannot be what I was. I cannot sieve a soul or reburn a boyhood or strip away the layers to some mythical core.
I stop to sit looking south at Inagh. Clouds and the light they leak flowing across the Bens and Maamturks. A ewe passes with two following lambs.
I can perhaps, work on the latest layer, chip away at the texture, some grit in the detail, tone in the shadows.
Already I am clambering back down to the shore of Fee.