The Dublin report

7 Aug

When I think of the most transformative relationships I’ve had, cities play an equal role to people.

It’s a strange concept, possibly, and might make me sound like someone who collects cats and wary glances as a hobby but it’s true: it is completely possible to fall in love with a city and be transformed by that relationship. It’s a bond that is not molded by people but by potential, a frisson of energy that tickles at your ribs and raises your shoulders.
Melbourne: my first love. After the separation in which I saw my marriage and a good amount of friends fall away, I turned to the city. I roamed its streets when alone and explored. It opened me to art and the cool sleek grey grid rewarded me with discovery and delight. I learnt photography in Melbourne and found the streets became a most obliging muse. I could never believe my luck and thrill to find such joy in its streets.
Osaka: my long-sought and surprising reward. I wasn’t supposed to love Osaka. In fact, it was the frumpy stopover before I ran to the more glamourous Kyoto and Tokyo. But the minute I set down, I started to love its earnest and slightly grubby grin. I made friends who took me riding through the city to meet their mates and little old ladies who fed me takoyaki. In terms of lovers, Osaka is the rebound city – you go there to regroup, recalibrate and wash away. In a completely melodramatic statement, it was a reward for childhood, allowing me to delight in all.
Dublin: it was an end to a means, only ever a tourist destination while I explored other options. But while Dublin is tourist spot to many, I’ve found I cannot treat it this way. Instead of visiting galleries, I visit cafes and watch. I walk the streets and watch people, I linger at traffic lights and chat. I don’t take photographs – the city won’t let me be a tourist. What there is in Dublin I cannot explain. I don’t understand the pull I feel when I am here but I know that I don’t want to leave. Not because of specific people (point in fact, I long to move to a place where no one knows me) but there is an unparalleled potential to this city.
Last year I thought I wanted to conquer London, to move there and make it my own. Then I visited and though, not smitten, still wanted to work there once I was retrenched. But it’s impossible to get into or hired by London. Also, London kinda sucks. Sucks like a dejected 40 year old. Sucks like thinned lips over bared teeth. London lacks what these other cities have: beauty paired with softness and potential. Like New York, London is a city that is a few years out of my reach.
However, I want to find a way into the EU so that the Seagull and I can build for the future and have adventures together. It’s been a goal for 1.5 years that I’ve worked towards in my typically bombastic fashion. And Dublin appears to be the entry point – I love the city, the work is here, the creativity is here and there is a reasonable visa entry process. From Dublin, we can explore the region together and spread out wings. I can show her the world and we can meander into the life I dream of us having.
We’ll see how it goes. Dreams can come true but they are in essence flights of fancy.

6 Responses to “The Dublin report”

  1. Being Me August 7, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    I want to cry and catch my breath all at once. How can a post be equally sad and uplifting all at once?That's what this is, to me. Love you.

  2. Leanne August 13, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    I can't wait to see what happens next.

  3. theotheradamford August 17, 2009 at 1:25 am #

    you know this is all very exciting. i don't want to lose your proximity, even though i don't take much advantage of it, but you deserve your dreams darlin. i know you're going to make it work. yay.

  4. Well I Never.. August 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    What you've written about Dublin is almost exactly how I feel about Edinburgh.I think we all just need to admit that Ireland and Scotland (excluding Paisley) are great, and I, being half Irish and half Scottish, must be brilliant also.But really, lovely post, I like yo' styyyyle.

  5. vaguelyspecific August 25, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    a great dream and a luxury that it can also be a goal. I never made it to Dublin as a an adult but had a similar feeling after visiting Glasgow.

  6. Alison November 9, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Beautiful post, I'm so glad I found your blog (which I came upon through following @Gabfran). I love what you say about cities: it really resonated with me. And Melbourne is indeed an amazing city to walk through. Thanks!

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