I remember a scene in Howl starring James Franco about the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s American epic in the late fifties. He spoke of wandering the streets of NYC from dawn until dusk until he was brought to tears. Partly because of the strain. But after walking Dublin without an agenda and no great desire besides to see the city. I can understand why he would do this for humility and inspiration.
After the light breakfast fare at the hostel of rice cereal and a piece of bread, I headed out with a few goals. St. Stephen’s Green Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Dublin Castle and the Chase Beatty Library. Saw everything I wanted to. The Green was beautiful. Practiced some yoga with children’s voices and birds as soundtrack.
With that clear base for the day, things seemed to get spiritual. The Book of Kells is the illustrated Gospels so to speak. Created in the Dark Ages on Iona, it stands as one of the few artistic legacies from this time in Europe. Housed in an unbelievable Library with a copy of every book in the British Isles at the time the collection was commissioned in the mid 19th C.
Dublin Castleis about a mile away, but it took three hours to get there. Willfully lost, I headed way south on Camden Ave. Walked through some quiet neighborhoods and when I returned to the busier part of town I was famished and discombobulated by the noise and bustle. The Dublin Castle was cool, but a flyby. The highlight of the afternoon was a conversation from Javier from Nicaragua. A student of Princeton we talked about everything imaginable. He’s a student of Literature and I interrupted his reading of Moby Dick. Good man. Lucky to be here for his summer.
The Chase Beatty Library is a collection of this American’s unreal collection of ancient texts. He had the first biography of Rumi written in the 13th C written by his son. There were books of all religions. Remarkable collection. Something I had no idea existed in Dublin. A beautiful hidden gem.