Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ah Belfast

There is something beautiful about northern hemisphere summer nights. Driving back into Belfast late evening and the rain of earlier has given way to a clear blue sky though some mist still caresses the city. Out of it buildings and church spires emerge filling my soul with an unaccustomed and unexpected joy. This place is and always will be home. Many people have looked on Belfast with love but few have written about it better than Robert Mcliam wilson in Eureka Street.

"It is only as the dawn begins to break, if you stand up high, you can see the city as one thing, as a single phenomenon. Ringed by it's circles of Black Mountain, cliff and plateau. The sea and dark bay lapping right up to the foot of the metropolis. Belfast is Rome with more hills, Atlantis raised from the sea. From everywhere you look the streets glitter like jewels, like small streams of stars.
But in the buildings and streets a dark hundred, thousand, million, ten million stories, as vivid and complex as your own, reside. I think of my city's conglomerate of bodies, of spines, kidneys, hearts, livers and lungs.
Only a jumble of streets. Only a few big bumps in the ground.
Only a whisper of God."

And sometimes a whisper is enough. On nights like this I believe.



mister tumnus said...

that's interesting. i only spent one year living in belfast (round the corner from one 'eureka drive', if you remember! those streets had such brilliant names: utility street,pandora street...) but i still think of it as home in many ways. there is something very special about belfast. it seems to have sucked up all its history into the architecture as if to give a true reflection of the past: pain, yes, but hope also.

i know how you feel, i think.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

it's still the place i sharpen myself - you, mr t, cary etc make sure of belfast family