|Holy well on Inis Mor|
A woman of Sligo had a son who was born blind, and one night she dreamed that she saw an island with a blessed well in it that could cure her son...Then she went out with the child and walked up to this well, and she kneeled down and began saying her prayers. Then she put her hand out for the water, and put it on his eyes, and the moment it touched him he called out: 'O mother, look at the pretty flowers!'
I wonder what Synge thought of this story. He was a staunch atheist, so I am inclined to believe he didn't go in for the story. But he had so many health problems, maybe he was attracted to the idea of a quick, magic fix.
|Photo from DruidSynge's production of Well of the Saints|
Last summer I visited this very well on Inis Mor, and performed the ritual of circling the well and placing the water on my eyes (I have a history of eye issues). The well water didn't cure me, and I wasn't expecting that it would, but I was curious about the ritual itself. Walking around the well was actually rather meditative, and I'd like to try it again this summer when I go.