sometimes you just gotta' row

towel in time

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Joey Steadwell gripped the ship’s handrail as if it was guilt. Their gaze locked in an understanding too sorrowful to bear and too precious to deny as the crew of the SS Parthia made ready for departure.

His last image of her and the Queenstown docks faded to a perspective dot and eventually a rounded horizon of nothingness as the heaving rhythm of the North Atlantic enveloped the creaking vessel, her passengers and crew in collective solitude.

– Excerpt – Claddagh Redemption – revision 1,387,845

Too long under Joey’s gloomy shadow. Sure, it’s an important piece of history that, when filtered through the pen of the colonizers, is a tragic period of the Irish legacy. In fact, it is a horrific illustration of how effectively fear and greed can empty the human soul of virtue.

What began as a short story became a two-year, multi-relationship, three-province immersion into a swamp-pit of darkness. It is time, methinks, to switch gears and take in some sunlight.

A publisher recently pointed out that a story can become such an obstacle that the writer becomes bogged in the work and unable to quit or progress. Bogged. Probably there’s a big helping of obsession and other neurotic consequences in the mix…bogged will suffice.

This stuff is dark and dangerously blue and it sticks to you like tar. The meter is running and I’ve decided to approach a work with lighter doors. Maybe something current that will work with a natural voice. That’s how it feels today. Screw it.

His grandmother had relentlessly encouraged him to attend Sunday mass in the hope of finding a way to soften the bitterness that silently emptied his heart. She told him churches have stained glass windows because God’s smiling light would be too strong to bear without it and, she promised, “Joey, if ye’ come the Lord will surely shine a light on ye’ since there can be none more deserving”. In her honour he had the highest window in the Middlesex house built in a cathedral style, complete with stained glass delivered from Boston.

When Joey received word of her death he painted the glass black and then boarded up the window. He tearlessly explained, “I’ve had all the smiling light from that God any one man could deserve…perhaps it’d be time for him to go and shine a wee bit of it on the bloody English”.

I hear you, pal. Another time, perhaps.


Written by glh

April 19, 2011 at 19:56

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