Rarely does one get to be completely
enraptured by beauty and shaken to
the very core by that elusive lass. Down
the slender bumpy road leaving my
place of work in Ireland I got to have
such an occasion, where my soul quaked
and I got to touch the tendrils of bliss and
Little details can be dangerous for they only offer a glimpse at the bigger picture. They can be misleading and summon up false images and ideas of what it is your hearing about. Often times they even build misguided anticipation and worries of what is to come. You begin to form biases and opinions bases off of slivers of a whole structure.
I was guilty of this last summer when I’d heard bits and pieces about this place down the road from Eclipse (my place of work and sleep), a placed that was refereed to as the Barn Pub. Now you can’t blame me for conjuring up an image of a big red building with white trim and hay scattered about the floor.
I’d also heard that it was also a place of dance and song occasionally. So a dance floor was slapped into the middle of it all with a bar pushed up against one wall, while all being lit by old oil lamps hanging here and there.
A place where the old farmer came to gather and swap tales of failed crops and run away cows. Where old couples danced and waltzed the night away and beer flowed freely. A true Irish country gem.
I’m not sure if this was the fool or romantic in me prescribing all these images and details to something I knew so little about, either way I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
A group of us residents and workers often shared our weekend nights at the pub. Our usual Pub though was in the little town of Kenmare, not but a 15-20 min drive from where we were at. But on that most auspicious of nights we decided that it was about time to give the Barn Pub a go, something which I welcomed as I’d been interested in finally seeing the bigger picture of this place.
When we arrived I was surprised by what we found, not the barn I’d been expecting at all. Rather it was just like any modern pub you’d find in a bigger town or city.
Random pictures adorned the walls with nice booths and tables lining the walls. It was dimly lit like most pubs, but rather with electricity then the lamps that I’d imagined.
The Bar had the usual taps and wasn’t anything to extraordinary or overly dull. Overall it was a nice quaint place. Not quite as I’d imagined granted, but I wasn’t in the slightest disappointed.
In our party that night was our normal bunch of people; the crazy Hannah, the lovely Jade, the nerdy mother Ginny, and the feisty Ribeacá. We were missing Sonny that night, but I can’t remember for what reason anymore, it’s funny how the details escape you over time.
When we arrived the band was just beginning to set up for a musical night that was to be one that’d I’d soon not forget. Next to our table was that of a lovely elderly couple and their friends. As soon as the music started up the girls began their coaxing to get me to ask the old lady to dance, for it’d be “simply adorable”, and by that point I was already a pint or two in and agreed to give it a go.
“Excuse me ma’am, I’m new around here and pretty unfamiliar with this kind of music and dance. Would you care to do the pleasure of teaching me.” I asked as I held out my hand.
She smiled kindly back at me. “Perhaps later, I’m not feeling quite up to dancing yet.” The night had just begun and I’d already been shut down, crap, but not a worry for I had my lovely gals to fall back on to dance with.
The first dance of the night was with Hannah. She was my fellow American at the time and we were always prone to jump into shenanigans together. Our dance was not a graceful one though. It was plagued with toe steppings, cutting across others dance paths and being a chaotic force on the dance floor. But it mattered not, for the floor was ours and our faces beamed as we laughed and span.
We made it back to the table in one piece and without offending to many locals, but I was quickly taken back to the floor, yet this time by Ribeacá, my more formal instructor. She had actually been versed in dance, which was a bit intimidating, not going to lie, but she was a stern but gentle teacher, understanding and patient.
The nigh went on much the same as that, although I never did get my dance I was promised from the elderly woman. T’was okay though as I finally worked up the courage to ask Jade to dance.
Jade, ah Jade, a rare gem indeed. Our dance was a clumsy and shy one. I was almost trembling just at the thought of it, for I’d been ensnared by her for quite some time at this point. She was our beautiful French house keeper and cook, and it was a sad day when we had to see her go. But in that night, all we had to worry about was making it last forever, and oh did we try.
We tried dancing, and drinking, but to our folly they just sped the night on. We laughed, joked, and reminisced on places and times both far and near. We had no other people to love or be happier with than those sitting around our table in that divine moment.
Nights like those are a fickle sort of thing though. You see words and beauty have a way of reaping havoc on my being. I can only take so much before my soul fills up and begins to overflow and I begin to drown in it all, hardly able to keep my eyes open as my vision starts to blur and swim.
Joyful moments such as those become a sword that cut through me, as I fear I may never reach nirvana quite like it again, and be left searching and lingering for a stout fix to fill me out.
I always seem to find that happiness again though, somehow, and I have to remember that many of the best moments of my life have yet to be lived. I have to tell my self to remember, REMEMBER… stay in the moment, quite the worry and fear and just bask in the glory of the here and now.
When the night had wound down and the musicians had put up their brass and strings, and the bartender had poured his last drink we were left standing on a long dark road that led back to whence we came.
We ventured back, still refusing to let the night end, refusing to stop laughing and being our goonish selves. We refused to let the memories cease being made, refused to be drunk and incoherent. We skipped and lock arms and leaned on one another for the final leg back. In those last fleeting moments we lived and loved.
Upon our triumphant return back to the house we finally gave in to the inevitable. Giving hugs, poking final fun, and wishing each other a good night we parted ways to our final resting place for the night.
It’s those kind of nights that I live for, in both travel and my day to day living. The nights when nothing else outside the room you’re in matters, and the people you’re with are your family until you part your separate ways.
So cheers Ireland, cheers my wonderful dance partners, and cheers to the Barn. May your music never cease to ring out through the starry night, and your taps never run dry. Cheers.