Anam Cara, Ireland

I had the  Anam Cara website sitting on my internet banner for years, reminding me that I needed to get there someday.  Ireland had been calling me all my life, for my grandmother, who also wrote, was a Parnell.  I finally made it to Ireland and Anam Cara in the summer of 09.  When I walked in the door, it felt like home.  A workshop was in progress, and Sue was in it, so I just found my pink Sea Room and laid down for a little rest.  That’s how at home I was from the beginning.

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Everything about Anam Cara is a writer’s dream.  The house itself, carefully picked out by Sue, is warm, welcoming, full of books and art and stained glass.  It has a glass conservatory with grape vines growing on the inside, framing a doorway

that looks out upon the rolling fields and hedgerows, down to the sea.  Day hours are kept as quiet writing hours.  Sue’s cooking — three meals a day, placed before you for your eating pleasure without you lifting a finger — is homey and delicious.  Dinner conversation sometimes flows into the evening.  The day’s efforts may be shared in readings, and ideas bandied about, generating lots of creative sparks for the writer.100_1609

Sue & I

The 5 acre grounds of Anam Cara are full of Irish magic.  In the midst of a little deciduous forest, the river sweeps down a series of cascades or low waterfalls, running so clear that the round stones in its bed twinkle under it.  I believe the faeries, the Sidhe, know this land and love it, and there are memories in air and rock and water of history and ancient things.  Like so much else in Ireland, green is everywhere: green, green, green to break the heart.

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The nearby village of Eyres

THE SEA ROOM

My little room at Anam Cara has pink walls, a small bed cushy with white linens, and a good desk, above which are two casement windows that look out upon the village of Eyres, set on the next rise, with its bright houses winding up the hill, green and orange and yellow and pink; and upon the blue sea below until it curves over the horizon.100_1604

My first day in the Sea Room, I open the windows before I sit down to write.  The salty, crisp air runs over my face and hands.  The cows in the next pasture called to each other in stertorous voices.  The rain smells clean and mossy.  I can’t get enough of Beara.  I leave the window open all night so the Beara breeze can bless the rocks and shells other residents and I have left on the sill in little altars to the muses.

The countryside at Anam Cara

Anam Cara

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Leo Cullen's Short Story Workshop at Anam Cara in July 2009

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Responses

  1. When I first looked at this picture I wondered if the grapevines were inside or outside. Ha! You can tell I look at pictures before I read the content! 🙂

    • Don’t you want a sunroom-conservatory with grapevines growing in it? I do.


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