A Writer’s Well

The Lodge is an ideal space for writers, musicians and artists to work or take time out to recharge and be inspired. Writing is my first love and I have been blessed to spend time with many kindred spirits during my time here.

Perched on the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way this island bridges inspiration from a primordial source. The drum of the sea as it meets the cliffs behind is a constant companion during Winter and na gaoithe (the winds) have often kept me awake during the frequent storms of recent years.

For those looking for inspiration there are numerous holy wells on Árainn both literal and metaphorical. The wellspring is a source of abundant supply that we can each tap into. A hundred metres down the cosán leading to The Lodge and to the right are steps down to an ancient village well that has supplied water to this Kileaney for millennia. For me simply being in close proximity to a wellspring opens a gateway to our creative source. Bring a ladle and fill your cup with clear water and as you drink listen allow the Goddess of the land and her sacred waters inspire you. Return home to the knowing the water is life. Sit and be nourished by the quietness of the land on a still day. Listen to what the plants and rocks and birdsong are saying.

Of the many writers, visionaries and poets who have been touched by the Aran Islands are Padraig Pearse, William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory all of whom spent time on the Aran Islands prior to the 1916 Rising.

John M. Synge wrote Riders to the Sea and Play Boy of the Western World while living on Inis Meáin. One of the main Irish language poets of the 20th century Máirtín O Direáin grew up in Sruthán to the west of Árainn and this island was the main inspiration for his poetry, while a founder of the Irish Communist Party, novelist and short story writer Liam O’Flaherty, was born close by in the village of Gort na gCapall.

Spend a while on this small island 32 kilometres squared and you will discover that you are being called to connect with your own creative source. Tim Robinson’s prose book Stones of Aran minutely details the magic and diversity of Árainn’s lunar landscape where early Spring sees the karst limestone awash with the splendour of orchids and gentian and the myriad species of native wild flowers that the Burren is home to.

Celtic monk Dara Molloy is among the authors currently living here. His book The Globalisation of God detailing the impact of hierarchal patriarchal religion on our psyche. Among my favourite compositions that this island has inspired is The Whole of the Moon a song by The Waterboys. I remember loosing myself dancing to it as a teenager in St. Mary’s RFC disco in Dublin. Little did I know then that I would end up living on the island where Mike Scott was inspired to write the lyrics or that I would be dancing in the magnificent light of the full moon as it rises over Galway Bay and the hill behind me here thirty years later.

I look forward to more writing as the wheel of the year turns and to welcoming others who are called to journey to here to write, create and replenish. My personal intent for the winter of 2018 is to complete my first book, having written screen plays, short stories and poetry and been short listed for the Francis McManus Award in the past.