July 2014 Archives

Memories of Dad at Anam Cara

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This is Dad's window at Anam Cara, a writer's retreat in West Cork, Ireland. I waited until our last day there to go into the room to look at it. It casts a beautiful rainbow on the bathroom wall. The design of palm trees and pampas grass echoes the plantings in the front of the house. I remember seeing his cartoon for the design and hearing about how he crated the finished piece for shipping.

I didn't know, but Sue told me, that he'd shipped some of his glass and materials there to be used on a project he was planning to create on site. Anam Cara has a lot of windows. I am sure it would have been beautiful.

The smaller piece in the lower right of the collage above is a family crest that Sue's children designed and Dad created for her kitchen. The photo doesn't show the details of the glass painting in each triangle, but it definitely has the feel of my father's art.

Revisiting Anam Cara

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Twelve years ago, Tod & I visited Anam Cara for a poetry workshop given by my sister, Jenny Hill, and Jack McGuigan. (My main memory of that trip is memorialised in this poem.) When I realised that we'd be in the area this year for the European Juggling Convention in Millstreet, of course we had to return.

But Anam Cara isn't for visitors; it's a writer's and artist's retreat. You have to be working on a project. So Tod & I agreed to create a project sort of celebrating our 25th anniversary coming up later this year. You'll hear more about that when it is done; for now we are keeping it under wraps.

We had only a few days at Anam Cara and we spent them in a mix of creating, communing with the other writers over meals, and exploring the area on foot and bicycle. 

Unexpectedly, I was invited to do some hooping to help launch a book! Brian O'Sullivan read from his new book, Beara: Dark Legends, at a wine and cheese reception and I greeted people as they arrived with a little hooping and circus-y action set to traditional Irish dance music. It was a lot of fun and made me glad I'd packed a costume.

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