You wake up and look out the window: sunshine. Why bother walking around in heavy rain boots and carrying an umbrella, when it’s sunny? Right?
The weather in Dublin can change in an instant. That instant for us was a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland. As a side note, this was also the first day of Travel Bingo, something my roommate and I created the night before. Analyzing a painting? Looking closely? Quoting Shakespeare? All while wandering through rooms and rooms of paintings? Sounds like a nice start to anyone’s day. Jack B. Yeats’ work particularly caught my attention. One wall showed his work chronologically, transforming from sketches to complex and colorful, rough-textured paintings. The more you look, the more you see. The more you see, the more you love it. Jokingly, I found a painting that would fit in every room in my home. This one’s for the kitchen, this one for the dining room, for the piano room, for the library… The range of subjects made it easy to find one that stood out. Many portrayed people, but many others were paintings of animals, horses especially. From far away, it looks like any other painting. The closer and closer it’s examined, the amazement of How did he create something this complex yet this simple? begins to set in. The seemingly random strokes of paint mesh together into a painting that shows life.
We wandered the rest of the museum, had lunch, and then we stepped outside to head to Trinity College.
Cue the rain.
Cue a queue outside the Book of Kells.
Cue us getting drenched.
Cue…singing in the rain.
Finally, we crowded into the building and were able to go through the rooms, learning about the process of creating these books and seeing the manuscripts. After seeing the pages of the Book of Kells, we walked up a flight of stairs to the Long Room, the Old Library. It’s enormous space and vast amount of books was breathtaking. There was a warmness about it, which I loved.
The clouds cleared and a group of us wandered the city and, finding a park, walked through the crunchy leaves, the smells of Autumn filling our lungs. A pond in the park was filled with ducks and swans, swimming happily.
There was an interesting man who we have named The Swan Whisperer, who was able to have the swans follow him around the edges of the pond, feeding them with grass and petting them. The children tried to pet the bird, but were snapped at rather violently. The swan wanted nothing to do with the children. It’s main focus was on the man. When he walked away, it would swim around until he called it, making noise with a can, and it would glide across the pond to see him.