There is a collection of Irish poems from Bernard O’Donoghue – a Cork-born poet – called Here Nor There. Its theme focuses on finding oneself in this middle sort of ground, where the emigrant no longer truly belongs in their homeland. This spoke to me as I emigrated from Ireland to Canada nearly 17 years ago. Seamus Heaney uses the same words in his poem Postscript but in a different context, sort of like one needing to be fluid yet being in the moment. So two different perspectives but similar all the same. This is where I find myself these past few days: Neither Here Nor There.
My sister called last Saturday Global Crap Day and it was. I realize I have gone from sage words from two of Ireland’s greatest poets, to what could be construed as a rather crass term, but heck, I have never claimed to be a poet. It was Global Crap Day because first of all, my mother suffered a stroke. She is doing as well as can be expected given the other health complications she has. The next few weeks will tell us the long-term prognosis but otherwise she is not in any further danger thankfully. My sisters in Cork are doing a fine job of supporting her through this period, I am fortunate they are there to do so.
Secondly, my very good friend and all-round Construction Magician Brian succumbed to a massive heart attack also on Saturday. What a shock! I will miss him an awful lot. As will Beverley, his children and many on Bowen who loved his droll sense of humour and directness.
Thirdly, my cousin’s partner of many years also died suddenly in Madrid. He was far too young to die, he had too much life to still live.
And to add fuel to the fire, Ireland lost the Grand Slam, beaten by England in their Six Nations meeting …. but only just beaten.
So today , I find myself Neither Here Nor There. That feeling of being discombobulated that can be so bewildering. That in between place where I am neither home on Bowen nor in Ireland with family. I am here in Bhainsepati, Nepal. In the here and now. And I am sad. But I am grateful. Grateful for the family and friends I have who love and support me. Grateful for this wonderful time I am having in Nepal with SIRC. Grateful for the interest many of you have in this journey I am taking. Grateful for being able to live the life I want. Grateful for my good health and resilience. I have much to be thankful for. Here. Right Now. I am Here.