Reading All of These People, the memoir of the very well-known BBC journalist Fergal Keane, an Irishman – a book as eloquent about his own home and background as it is about South Africa, Rwanda, Iraq... Odd really, that bits of my heart have been left in places I never expected to see: Peru and Guatemala, Zimbabwe and Senegal, but I’ve never been to Ireland.
One of my close woman friends is Irish. Her warm, clever garrulousness, her deep anchor in her large family, are that country to me. And a man, a dearly loved colleague for many years; his very Irish face, blue-eyed and rosy-cheeked, that unnervingly vulnerable, rubbery flexibility to his features.
Just off the edge of my country and my consciousness: shadows of violence on wet green landscapes, alarmingly rapid economic growth, and that strange thing - charm. One day I must go and have a look.
¶ 11:17 pm
This reads more like a prose poem than anything, and the shadows of leaves, a perfect accompaniment to the deftly drawn character sketches you have limned in so few lines... Yes, you must visit Ireland; times spent in Ireland are among the most memorable of my lifetime. xo