by Kim Kelly

ireland

ONCE UPON A TRALEE DREAM

Something a little bit magical has happened lately. I’ve been ambushed, kidnapped and consumed by a tale that’s curled out of dreams my grandmother gave me when I was a child, and for the past few weeks it’s had me whirling back in time across the seas to Tralee, where her family, the O’Reillys, came from.

I’m not sure why I’ve been so compelled – to my shame, I’ve never even set foot in Ireland – but the call of this story has made me drop all other deadlines and obligations to write it out. I’m even less sure that this compulsion is worth anything to anyone but me. I’m flying free. Well, as free as we ever are inside the centuries of narrative baggage we all carry in our hearts.

All I know is that I am writing out my heart. Aren’t we all?

Like Yeats’ Aedh, however humble our offerings of ourselves might be, we are always, always worthy in the giving:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Cheers to dreamers all.