Clifden to Toormakeady
Clifden to Toormakeady is what Heaney calls in poetry that place for the ‘redress of the soul’. Walking here, strips down, shapes up and reaffirms. One may even suffer an understandable bout of entrapment and lose a day or two. Now, cue bodhrans, fiddle and a couple of uileann pipes! This ‘wilderness’ on the very edge of Europe that our folk has so often had to flee from, we call ‘sa bhaile’. Flying in over Aran, late winter, early Spring, you’d think that Kavanaghs’ Bog God had newly stirred His dark sphagnum pools of creation, and in His deep cuttings, the sun ignited shards of heavens shattered vessels, twinkle up from the black peaty beds and reflect their upward assault in a watery eye. Stone scattered, rubbled with rock blown open by gentian and avens, Atlantic arias rebound off rock face and flood the aural chambers. Flaccid bronchials whip lashed in their dark cage like a fern in a gale, leak the murky smog of city in their bruising, out through eye and nostril, clear air pinking the tissues and flushing out the flues. Wee Davey’s passionate rendering of his fathers account strikes a chord. The uncle joined the Irish Air Corps Base in Baldonnell in 1939, then on to B.A. and when done with them, he flew for Zambian Airways: London, Kuala Lumpar, Zambia and back. In such long hauls he never saw scapes or weather as distinctly varying or in such rapid continuous flux as on our tiny island, particularly round our mountains. Sure the Maamturks have their very own as any local will tell you. These photos were taken seven years ago on an expedition west. Clifden to Toormakeady,Wee Davey, whether you walk it all or not, is pure poetry. As they say up north, slap it into ye, but regardless, such a venture saturates in any case. Bon Chance, my friend! Bring biscuits, its a long walk.
P.S. Au Contraire re verdict assumption! Bloody committees and one devised for such activities as fining folk for ‘endangering the war effort’, is beneath contempt, I’d not go so low as to endorse nor condone any verdict passed on the misunderstood. The view from here is breath taking!