August 16, 2016 was truly a marvelous day. I took so many pictures though that I need to break Day 2 in Dublin into shorter posts. Today’s post takes me from the hotel to Sweny’s Pharmacy, which is near Trinity College. If you click on one of the pictures below, it will turn into a gallery which you might find easier to view.
*** All photographs that are a part of this gallery were taken by me, Jill Ocone, on August 16, 2016 and are copyrighted. It is illegal to reproduce or to take credit for my intellectual property contained on this post. Thank you for your compliance.
“Eyes, pale as the sea the wind had freshened, paler, firm and prudent. The seas’ ruler, he gazed southward over the bay, empty save for the smokeplume of the mailboat, vague on the bright skyline, and a sail tacking by the Muglins.” – James Joyce, Ulysses (Episode 1 – Telemachus)
Wow. Just Wow.
I now understand the magnitude of the above quote from Ulysses, and so much more.
What an amazing experience I had while in Dublin!
I’m sitting here trying to absorb everything I saw, heard, felt, tasted, and learned, while contemplating what might come next along this journey.
I have so many photos and so many stories to share. However, the universe has other plans: somehow the charging port on my computer stopped working while I was away. Very weird, since I left my computer at home unplugged for the whole time I was gone, and nobody else used it. Anyway, my computer is at the local repair hospital.
In the meantime, I am writing and posting from my phone for the time being.
One of the best parts of the week was having a poor wifi signal at the hotel. With an international phone plan that did not include data, I was forced to abandon technology. Which was GOOD. I filled my notebook with handwritten comments, thoughts, responses and more. Old school! And I think everything was more meaningful that way.
I am very grateful that my health cooperated for the most part while in Ireland. I’m still adjusting to the time change back here at home and I’m having some issues today health wise; I’d much rather feel like this here versus while away.
So, what did I do? In a nutshell:
I lived as a Dubliner for a week. I walked in the footsteps left by James Joyce (and his characters), Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and Seamus Heaney.
I walked up the steepest hill I ever climbed (which was a challenge) to see 5,000+ year old artwork left inside a cave. I completed a pilgrimage to the Hill of Tara and the Stone of Destiny. I saw medieval stone towers, stone Celtic crosses, and the decapitated head of Saint Oliver miraculously preserved in a bog.
I walked over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, saw the Famine Memorial, and went to a storytelling dinner at The Brazen Head Pub.
I laughed a lot with my traveling companion as we journeyed through downtown Dublin and suburbs Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire, Howth, and Bray.
Most of all, I abandoned my fear by fulfilling my mission from the universe while honoring the spirit of my treasured friend. I hope my eyes showed her everything she could have ever wanted to see with her own eyes.
My journey to Dublin might be over, but I think the real story is just beginning…
Here are some pictures from my phone to give you an idea of some of the things I saw and did while in Ireland. Trust me, more is definitely coming! Thank you for following! 🙂
When they hear about my trip to Dublin, most people immediately ask, “What are you going to do when you are there?”
To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure.
I’m open to all possibilities, especially to seeing things in a new way, but one thing I must do is walk the path.
I plan to explore by walking in the footsteps left by James Joyce and his characters Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom. I’ve created 4 maps of different areas of Dublin that contain sights that Joyce, Dedalus, and Bloom saw. The important sights are “must-sees”, such as Trinity College, the James Joyce tower, Dalkey, and Grafton Street, to name a few. There are a lot of pins on my maps, and I will do my best to see as much as I can.
I will appreciate everything I see with a new outlook and with a new awareness.
I will be present for each moment, for each minute, for each second.
I will look at the details and take in the colors and the visions for both SHE and for me.
SHE cannot see these sights, so my eyes will be her eyes. I will be her light.
While my own eyes will be looking out, they will also be looking in, looking inward, as I learn more about ME.
I will be my light.
The only set reservations my traveling companion and I have are dinner at The Brazen Head and a day trip to the Boyne Valley to see ruins and the like.
Everything else will happen as it unfolds.
Trust me when I say there are some locations I plan on seeing that have a huge significance.
I will see what the universe needs me to see, and learn from the universe what I need to learn.
When in Ireland in 2014, I had the distinct feeling that I had been there before. I felt comfortable and at home. In a way, it kind of feels like I am going home again, but this time, I am open to Dublin letting me experience all that I can, and all that it wants me to experience.
I’ll be honest. I’m a bit concerned about my health since I am not feeling as good as I had hoped. Even though I’ve been able to rest and have had 85% less stress in my life living as “Summer Jill,” I’m still very fatigued and in moderate pain most of the time (legs, back, hips, head). My energy drains very quickly, and even simple tasks wipe me out.
It’s very frustrating, wanting to experience life but being held back by my health. I will definitely listen to what my body needs and wants, and put my health and wellbeing first. I will plug along the best I can.
The one thing that I know?
Without a concrete reason, without a set itinerary for each day, and without fear, I HAVE TO DO THIS.
I have to go to Dublin.
I’m excited to meet ME.
Stay tuned for Part 6: Who Am I? tomorrow.
For the doubters of the signs, here’s one that literally just happened. The video below appeared randomly at the top of my news feed, having been shared several times then shared by someone I follow. It is an animated introduction to James Joyce and his literary works. Parts of it describe exactly what I have written about my “Mission from the Universe.” Check it out to learn more about James Joyce, his works, his life, and even yourself. 🙂
SHE loved James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, and other British and Irish authors. SHE was of Irish heritage, but SHE never got to visit her homeland, the place she loved, the place she hoped to see with her own eyes and walk with her own feet.
While on the streets of Dublin in 2014, I swear I saw her at least three times in the crowd. I recognized her hair, her smile, and her eyes immediately. She was happy and at peace. Those 3 sightings are as clear in my brain as what I just looked at a second ago.
SHE and I were colleagues for 14 years and spent a lot of time together from September through June. We’d share duty periods, lunch periods, meetings, activities, and prep periods together as much as our schedules would allow.
Whenever she’d see me, she’d say, “Hey, you.”
I can still hear her voice say those two words, and I probably will for the rest of my life.
Outside of our work hours and months, we texted here and there and saw each other for lunch usually once a summer. We weren’t best friends by any means, but we confided in and supported each other no matter what. A treasured friend. That’s how I think of her.
As I wrote yesterday, I lost my father-in-law four months after SHE was gone, then was hit with another punch to my soul when my own father died from a massive stroke in his sleep 8 months later.
For the most part, it was a real shitty time for me from December 2013 through early 2015.
The upside since?
I am more aware of LIFE and what the term “living” actually means.
I want to LIVE MY LIFE, which is, unfortunately, a life negatively affected by a very active Lupus flare since last year. My health limitations amplify the importance of “living” as much as possible every minute of every day.
And man, do I cherish the good days and moments.
I am no longer a lackey. Instead, I confidently and unwaveringly say NO when my life, my health, my peace of mind, or my well-being will be negatively affected, nor do I allow the precious time I have left here on Earth to be pilfered away by someone else’s agenda, to do list, or so-called “emergency.”
Yep, there SHE is, that spit-fire, coming out through my words! Loving it!
For some reason, SHE has definitely been more in my life since her passing than when she physically walked on Earth, which has been pretty freaking awesome.
Our connection is stronger now than ever. It took me a while to believe it too, so I don’t begrudge you for thinking that I might be a little nutty or if you doubt that this is all part of a bigger thing going on.
But it is. It’s much bigger than me.
I’m following my heart and listening to the universe. SHE’s playing a very active hand with the universe, and at times, she is holding the winning card.
It’s definitely more than so-called “coincidences.”
Things that happened in my past, and I mean like 20 years ago past are now making sense through the massive web of signs and connections SHE has, in part, guided me to over the past year and a half.
SHE is giving me confidence and the gumption to say YES to life on my terms.
SHE is helping me find my voice.
And in 6 days, SHE will have succeeded in her long campaign of getting me to return to Dublin.
“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses
Today is Bloomsday, so let’s celebrate! And I’ve got a special treat for you.
Chances are you have no idea what I am talking about. Bloomsday? What is that? Another politically correct holiday?
June 16, 1904 is the day that Leopold Bloom wandered throughout Dublin in James Joyce’s book Ulysses. Leopold made many stops along his route, and at times, was joined by others including Stephen Dedalus.
Joyce enthusiasts celebrate Bloomsday every year to mark not only the anniversary of Leopold’s journey but also to celebrate all things James Joyce.
And Bloomsday is celebrated worldwide, not just in Dublin! Take a look around at local events and you might be surprised that a celebration is being held near you, should you be so inclined.
Friends and family know I’ve got a cosmic thing going on with researching James Joyce and Dublin. I am preparing to see many of Leopold’s sights (among others) with my own eyes in August. The universe and a special spirit have infused this calling into me, and I must go to Dublin in search of ….. well, I’m not sure, but I know I have to go.
To celebrate James Joyce, Bloomsday, Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, Dublin, Stephen Dedalus, and that special spirit, I created a Bloomsday/James Joyce printable for you.