Sometime, call it luck, call it preparation, call it synchronicity, the universe sends you a little present. You know, a surprise gift which overwhelms you? Such is my reaction to the discovery of the blog Social Bridge (wordpress) by Jean Tubridy from Tramore near Waterford, Ireland.
Like me, this Jean loves poetry and gardens and Van Gogh and art in general. She loves the ocean while I, a prairie girl living in the mountains, am a triple earth lover, with an exaggerated fear of water. That may have something to do with being a fire sign. Although the beaches she writes about seem to be near some of the genealogy research I've been doing, around Kinsale. And on the bus tour I took last summer which included Belfast, Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, I took a picture of the Norman tower in that last city (where our stop seemed mainly focused on a souvenir shop). Jean's passion for Yeats I also share, although the poet of my dreams is Leonard Cohen who I first heard sing at a concert at university my first year.
Jean writes about losing aged parents. I moved from the prairie province of Manitoba to BC when my mother was ill. Within four years, she was dead. One of my first finds in my new home was this framed copy of someone's calligraphy exercise, of “Crossing the Bar,” Tennyson's famous poem about grief, which Jean's mother asked to be read at her funeral. This piece of art, black ink, teal blue and gold paint, still hangs on the wall in front of my computer.
I'm not sure exactly how I stumbled upon her blog. I do check out “bridge” references. This blog is called Earthabridge. And I have been doing weeks and weeks of Ireland research for my latest fiction project. The three saints, especially Bridget (which must be part of Tubridy.) Searching for Art. Genealogy. History. Sacred stones. Sacred wells. Sacred sites. Yeats and Heaney. Geology as it relates to eskers and bogs. The name Tubridy even came up again in a research paper on a specific esker which appears in my story.
I don't know this woman but I wish I did. And in many ways, I feel as if I've known her all my life. Finding her blog, like I said, feels like a gift from the universe, a link to the other side of the world. As if a crack has opened up and let light into my life.
J.M. (Joan Margaret) Bridgeman