Booking round-trip European flights from Albuquerque can be quite expensive. So when I had the option of flying through Dublin on both the inbound and the return flight, I jumped at the opportunity (and the price!).
The trade-off on the return ticket was an overnight stay in Dublin (16 hour layover).
My new friend and colleague, who I had just met at Franz-Schubert-Institut, happens to be a Dublin resident, so the layover worked out perfectly. (Thank you, NK, for the amazing hospitality!).
I was properly greeted at the airport.
And then after some lovely aperitifs and music-listening, we hit the town for some proper fish-n-chips and, after, the quintessential Dubliner magic potion.
As James Joyce says in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, "My heart is quite calm now. I will go back."
And my heart is quite calm now.
The time away, immersed in texts and music, helped me become more of myself. As Dr. DL says, "Schubert's song can rid us of our bad habits." I have played that line over and over in my head, wondering what he meant, and also finding its truth.
I do know that I haven't written, and that usually my time away is a time to write more. This summer ended up being an exception, and my challenge is to write as I continue to unravel the many gifts that studying this summer afforded.
I am thrilled to be going to home and to be reunited with Z, and I am also happy to be bringing home a better version of myself.
(... though I know the old version was also just fine, as well ...)