My week was a wry kind of smile. There were certain ideas debunked and disappointments banked. But I seem more used to that than not and I was almost tickled by it, the familiarity of it, the yarn-spinning that goes with these feelings, the shure-isn't-it-no-worse-than-you'd-expect kind of humour.
But my sense of home (both homes) is strong right now and when I close my door each evening I feel enveloped by all things I love. And I read some beautiful pieces of writing this week, but this piece by Kevin Barry really stands out. He seems to be every where I turn right now. And I wonder if it's just the paths I'm taking around the internet, if I'm cycling Sligo roads somehow.
"The connection hissed more loudly and sputtered hard, and we held our breaths as the great network that we knew was out there tried to snag its digital hooks on the virgin nodes of Cork city, but it failed, and the room went silent, and we turned off the computer and got on with our lives." - Kevin Barry, The Dublin Review, via IT
And his book will be the one I read next and I fully expect to find myself here trying to find words to convince you that my sense of his genius is real and true and not just me spluttering exclamations at you.
I also read Mark O'Connell's wonderful piece about unboxing videos this week. I loved how it managed to be both questioning and ebullient. I often think our self-conscious irony gets in the way of simpler pleasures, especially when it comes to consumerism, which has become a kind of dirty thing that we're all quick to distance ourselves from.
"It isn’t easy to account for the attraction of these videos; or more specifically, I suppose, it isn’t easy for me to account for my attraction to them. There might, though – and I advance this theory somewhat hesitantly – be something about unboxing videos that stokes whatever vestigial embers remain of the childhood enthrallment of present-opening." Mark O'Connell, The Dublin Review
I've written before about that transition a product goes through from being a thing in a shop to becoming a belonging, and even an extension of self. And I usually rush that process. There's something about gleaming newness I find embarrassing. I like things worn and familiar. So, I reveled a little in this (novel to me) idea of prolonging that process rather than rushing it, especially loving that unboxing doesn't involve turning the thing on.
Also, I should say that these two pieces of wonderful prose promptly made me subscribe to The Dublin Review.
And so, although I shun creating the gift guides myself, I must also tell you the wonder and pull I felt looking Stephanie's this week. And also tell you that I browsed for furniture this week and sat in an armchair I've been doing sums about since. And I picked out leather and nailheads and let the sales associate think I'll be buying it, which I may.
But I also swam in images of Shetland winter and loved Toast for sending me e-mails not selling anything at all. And we could be jaded and talk about clever marketing and how many tweets they got for that. But let's not. Let's think nicer thoughts and that this is just happy-making stuff for them, as well as for us.