Friday, 26 April 2013

Should I go back? Back where?

Where's my pot of gold, then?
I haven't been back home back to Ireland since 1998. And here the difficulty begins. How long ago was it, really? I count back through the weddings I didn't attend. Was it really 1998, or am I remembering someone else's trip? It was my first (and only so far) visit to Galway, and I loved it. The more I think about it, the nice the place gets and was there really music around every street corner, or am I adding that retrospectively?

Do I call Ireland home, now? I used to, when I went back with my family. When are you going home to visit, my cousins asked? My mum easily said it, but I can't. Quite. Even thinking about how long it's been is strange, like a reconstruction. Am I remembering things that really happened or reimagining it? Is it all becoming a Robert Flaherty documentary in my head? I haven't quite got to remebering the time I went fishing for basking sharks, but give it time...

When I go back of course, things will be different. Buildings, families, even the road signs.

Ireland becomes Éire
Dublin becomes Baile Átha Cliath
County Galway becomes Contae na Gaillimhe

It will be a different country altogether. Or will it be me?