Thursday, June 9, 2011

What Kidney Beans and the Aran Islands have in Common

I've been MIA this past week because I've been dealing with some unexpected health issues. As you can imagine, I had to deal with them ASAP so that they wouldn't interfere with my trip. Needless to say it's been a harrowing past few days (filled with many doctors visits and a day in the ER) and today I'm finally starting to feel better, so pray to whatever god(s) you pray to or do a rain dance or keep your fingers and toes crossed that I continue to feel better and can go on with my trip as planned. I will be monitoring my symptoms for the next few days, but my doctors have given me the go-ahead, so that is good news!

One of the things the doctors were tossing around was that I may have had a kidney stone. This was not good news, of course, but during all of this I realized that "Aran" comes from the Gaelic "ára" which means "kidney." The Aran Islands may be named this way because of the kidney-like shape of Inishmore, or referring to it as a long ridge, or the back of land. Luckily I do NOT have a kidney stone, but the irony was not lost on me.

Map of Inis mor. Note the kidney shape.
Kidney beans. Because why would I post a picture of actual kidneys?

Regardless, I take comfort in the fact that my dear J. M. Synge dealt with chronic health issues his entire life, and that didn't stop him from going to Aran...


  1. Dear Emily,
    I wish you a lot of health and happiness. Safe journey to Wicklow-Synge Summer School and to Aran Islands.
    Enjoy your Irish dream with spirit of the West Ireland!
    I am thinking of your travel heartily.

  2. Thank you, Mariola! I'll keep you posted!