Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Away from it all
"Why are you hoisting sail for now, in God's name?" I asked.
"That's more than I can tell you," he called back, "Except I have the seven cares of the mountain on my shoulders, with no end of things to do, and I'm making a start on none of them."
"It is often before now that a man pitched away his last and his awls when he had too much to face," said I.
"I'm in the same case," Sean answered. "There are people gathering seaweed.* I need turf. I have sheep to dip. I need flour. I have a wall to repair. I have a shed to rebuild. I have a trawl-line to see to and a net to prepare. I left the house now to have a day away from it all, for I couldn't decide which should be tackled first."
-- from the journals of Tomas O'Crohan of Blasket Island, February 1920, as reprinted in Island Cross-Talk.
* Seaweed was spread over fields as fertiliser.