Archive for September, 2013

Maynooth

Serious for the winter time
To wrench my soul
Whole cotton, whole cotton ears
But I know there must be
Yes I know there must be
Yes I know there must be a place to go

Tanita Tikaram – Cathedral Song

I can remember the day we went to the room above Loftus Hall in St Patrick’s, Maynooth. I can’t remember the name of the room but that is unimportant. It was the first year of our Masters and we were floundering. It wasn’t because we lacked the smarts. I think it was because we expected more. We didn’t know what that more was but whatever it was we couldn’t find it. We were like the parents of a child that had wandered off: panic was all. But that day was our oasis. That day we found a level. You got so angry and passionate over the situation that you lit a fire in me. I grabbed a piece of chalk (was I that prescient? Was I subconsciously acting out my future career?) and I started to draw. Mind maps of madness but I grabbed all those butterfly thoughts and made a coherent philosophy out of the fluttering wings. History opened up before me. You challenged, you provoked, you were testing me and I thrust and parried. You picked up the sword and you furiously began to write. Powerful prose that was precise in its historical accuracy and insight. We laughed. Giddy that we had taken back some control of a desperate situation. God it had been a while. The winter that had passed had drained us, but through it all we had built up a sense of trust. Now spring was here and in that room all was illuminated. London , the bench in Trinity, the love and the heartache was still to come but on that day Maynooth was ours and in some small way it always will be.

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