My back garden smells great. It’s not so much the flowers, but the smoked peppers and tomatoes Matt is grilling for our early-June-but-still-feels-like-March Saturday chili. When we left for America last summer, we should’ve known Ireland would experience tremendous heatwaves and glorious sunshine. This year, though, while we’re happily home in Dublin for the summer, we’ve got cool breezes and intermittent rain showers. My children still leave the house in jackets, gloves and winter hats. We debate the merits of a morning or evening boost of heat. Our clothing is not yet on the line.
But we’re home - right now, for now - and at rest.
The first year of my MA was challenging, but in a “let’s try not to look like the 40 year old mum on campus” way, or a “let’s see if I still know how to craft a thesis” way. I felt mature, but not old; fresh, but not naive. The truth is, while I’ve missed writing creatively, I haven’t necessarily missed showing up here, or feeling the need to write here. I experienced a sort of trial-by-fire in academic writing, which was more of a struggle - a joyful, stretching struggle - than I thought it would be. So while I jumped into that pool, I waded out of this one. Still here, but walking slowly along the water’s edge, wondering when I’ll dip a toe back in.
Not yet, I don’t think. Maybe not ever.
I don’t know that I have much to say anymore outside of the literary implications of perfectibility, or ecocriticism and pathetic fallacy in the contemporary Irish short story. Or the occasional trolling of a dead PT Barnum on Twitter (can we give up the ghost of The Greatest Showman, yet?) or my deeply held but not at all productive rage against the Dublin housing crisis. Turns out my audience is very niche.
I can’t say for sure when or if I’ll be back here. I’m keeping the site running for now, particularly for keeping y’all up to date on my copywriting and design side hustle. I need to pay for school (for myself, and the kids) after all.
So spread the word. Or drop me a line. Or comment on what’s up with you and where this last season might’ve taken you. It’s okay if it’s been a fallow one. Sometimes the fallow seasons are the life-changers. Sometimes our fallow seasons aren’t so fallow at all.
There’s work under the soil being done all this time.