a File in her right Hand, and a Garland in her left.

One forgets that the enduring touch is just that – it remains with us.  And so others after years sometimes can resurface, still seeing you as a fixture in the repertoires of their lives.  Or perhaps a prop to some place or time or character they once were. 

An unexpected email, a phone call, a postcard. You though you had moved on. But you’re still a total hedgehog in someone’s world.

– So what am I that connects to the hedgehog — mainly blind, deceptively indolent, fiercely solitary… ?
– Prickly. And living too close to the ground.

You draft your response, your apologia:  you talk about ‘pale hens and brightly coloured roosters’ who sit in their open cages until it’s their turn to be the rotisseried or fried chicken they deserve to be….  choked, scalded, plucked, gutted, and portioned.  All of which you present as a  variant on the sorites paradox. Clever, that. Even slightly erudite.

Further exchanges and you grow a bit tired. These have all the hallmarks of something else that’s going nowhere in your life and you don’t have the time for this.  Then an out presents itself:

– So at what stage are we gutted and portioned?
– Probably the best answer there is too often for the first and almost always for the second. I think it has something to do with loss of those bright dreams and caravan moments of the younger self.   Anyway, it’s probably a choice for most people between that or taking the chance regularly on being boned & rolled.  Though maybe there’s a touch too much of the-Boy-who-was humour there… 😉  And, yes. I have White Tiger but didn;t read it till you emailed.   Not a bad read: I’m surprised in a way I missed it.  We must have that coffee sometime…

And what you don’t say is about those spaces in life where we spend your time & energy just trying to keep it all together. Like now as you sit in a shaded part of an overgrown garden with too much to do and too many deadlines and no place in your heart for the sun and the summer.

 But only for another fortnight. After which it will get better.  Or at least this is what you tell yourself. Gilgamesh on the banks of that pool: his plant long gone. 

Galway was most enjoyable. Rather disappointingly Glasnevin didn’t follow through on that half-invite.  EDEN 2011 is coming to Dublin.  The UCD – TCD MDP  programme is out of the blocks, despite everything.  Two, possibly three, new doctoral students from September. 

And with that, belfield – like all those other academics who do nothing more than teach 3 or 4 hours a week, October to May  – has decided it’s time for a break and is now in recess.  Have a good summer, reader.