The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Friday, July 10, 2009

pictures in the hallway

Going to bed at 7am with the dawn already fully unfurled over the garden. Lovely fresh breeze ruffling the hedge. Gentle yellow light playing on the leaves.
I walked from the kitchen towards my place of rest.
Standing at the bedroom door, I looked back up the hall which was in shadow.
A question came to me.
What could be told about me from this hallway?
And another question.
What will people remember of me who live in this house when I am gone?
"He filled the place with paintings," might be an answer.
Even in shadow I could make out some of them from where I stood.
A nice Josephine Hardiman of Killinthomas Woods. A Jim Flack misty May morning. Another Josephine Hardiman of Banna Strand.
Where a man and a woman stand alone watching the breakers on the beach.
I'd asked her once: "Who are they?"
She didn't answer immediately.
Then: "James they're whoever you want them to be."
But I knew.
I had seen the answer in her eyes.
And in that painting he will be forever young and she be fair.
No one will know the story behind the paintings I've brought to this house.
The Jill Allaway of the giant moon, and the bats, and the cross, and the trees, and the great house, which is supposed to represent my mind.
The Ger Osborne of the cottages below the mountains which he gave me as a gift after a photo of his that I published in the Leinster Leader got a strong public response.
The Mariana Gabor nude stashed in the cupboard because I never quite had the nerve to display it.
The shadows in the hall seem to brood now.
What will people know of me who live in this house after I've gone?
"He loved beautiful things and beautiful people," they might say fingering Lu Yi's Chinese fan which lies beside a photograph of Grandad.
Or holding the Matryoshka doll which Marriedski gave me.
The lovely Matryoshka doll which I can never see without thinking of her.
She was a lovely Matryoshka doll herself.
All the women she was were beautiful.
Holy God made an executive decision to part us, knowing full well I wasn't adult enough to have a friendship with a married woman who looked like Marriedski.
Not before she'd told me her dream though, and I'd interpreted it, and we both wondered what in God's heaven had just happened.
The kids love that Matryoshka doll.
It's a miracle they haven't broken it.
Okay, they have broken it but it's been repaired with superglue.
It might yet survive a generation or two.
To pose a riddle for those who come after.
And beside it are the photos.
A black and white photo of Divya Sharma looking very Hindu and mysterious.
My favourite photo of me, standing outside Uncle Scutch's pharmacy with a poster in the background for Lady Windermere's Fanny.
Photos of various dogs, put in place to cheer up the Dad.
Will anyone know how these objects came to be here?
How long will they remain after I've gone?
I turned towards the bedroom door.
Stretching out my hand, I ran my fingers along the cracked panel of wood.
I'd smashed it with my shoulder at the age of nine, hurling myself repeatedly against the door in lunatic rage at my brother who was laughing on the other side.
The splintered panel will also tell something about me.
Whispering down the years.
Perhaps I've yet to fully realise the gifts God has given me in terms of miraculous deliverance from the oppressions of mind.


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