March 11, 2004

The Fruit of Eden

I’ve been reading a lot of Irish blogs lately, and I am strangely tempted by them.

As I mentioned once before, I’m planning to move in four months to a city I’ve never been to, something many people would consider risky verging on crazy. (Sounds a bit like an English village, that: “We stayed at the quaintest little B-n-B in Risky-Verging-On-Crazy.”) Most people in my situation would be sucking up all the information about their intended destination that they could.

Me, I’ve been actively avoiding that.

As much as I can, I want to arrive naked and guileless as a babe new-born into the world, feeling that my carefully preserved naiveté will lend my impressions a freshness and a snap that will make them more worth reading, and perhaps more entertaining to have. The endeavor in itself is a strange one, in the era of Google, when I am a mere click-type-click away from any fact or speculation I could desire. It’s hard to keep thinks unknown, keep impressions of a place your own, entire, and not merely the particular sheen imparted by shellacking a layer of actual experience onto a well-worn patina of books read, news heard, photos seen, movies watched, Mapquests downloaded and urban legends repeated. Even as I type this I realize that the mere attempt is fruitless and impossible, that I am the-woman-who-knew-too-much before I even begin, just for re-reading “The Dead” every Christmas. I especially, perhaps, with my refrigerator-door mind—plastered with factiods held still with stray shards of magnetic poetry—will have to fight off a ghost Dublin, a feisty wraith determined to stand between me and the city I’ll find, fogging over my impressions with itself. The last thing I want is to chew through every guidebook forty times until I’ve got them thoroughly digested, and arrive to find everything just as I expected, no surprises in store.

But I am human, you know. Thus the temptation of the blogs. I’ve found a few by Irish writer writers, and by people who’ve just moved to Dublin, and I want very much to read deep into their archives and take my comfort from their doubts and struggles, to write to them for hope and for advice. They’ve done it, you see. They’ve managed somehow, and accomplished that which I desire. In small things and in large, I want assurance, and my want is both desire and lack. But you can’t have assurance and danger, and I cannot read back a year into someone else’s life and trials without reducing to some degree all that which is left for me to discover…and so, I’m tempted.

Posted by Diablevert at March 11, 2004 07:20 PM

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