My dear J.M.,
It's been a long journey, from growing up (which, I'm realizing, is a constant process), to reading your plays, to discovering you. We both love theatre, we both write, we both grew up with similar fears and anxieties, similar health problems, similar spiritual ideals, and we were both looking for something - something like God, or love, or confidence. And I think you found it, whatever it was, on Aran. That's why I went to Aran last summer. I believed that you held the key to my happiness. You had laid it all out, in your books and your plays, and the answer to everything, I thought, was to go to Aran.
It was a strange and wonderful summer. Full of "varying moods of rapture and dismay," as you called it. And I did find that much of what you wrote about was still alive on Aran. And much of what you wrote about was long gone. Nevertheless, I began to find what I was looking for. Thanks to you.
Tomorrow I'm going back to Aran to keep looking.
This past week amidst travel plans and unexpected health issues, I've been doing a lot of reflecting. I thought about postponing the trip out of fear that something might happen, that I might get sick abroad. I wondered what was stronger - my fear about my body, or my rocket-fuel excitement to get back to the complex and beautiful place I love that has occupied a good portion of my thoughts for the past year.
I'm happy to report that love has conquered fear, my dear.
I think you would be proud of me, J.M. I'm looking forward to seeing you soon.
|Me at Black Fort, Inis Mor, Aran Islands, summer 2010|