We visited Kinsale yesterday. Know why? Well, it may have had something to do with the Arts Festival on there right now, but what prompted the journey yesterday specifically was…. SUN. The sun came out after lunch! There are few places more enjoyable on a sunny day than Kinsale. The old town nestled on the harbour is a great place to stroll or just sit and watch the sail boats. There is great food to be had and plenty of people watching to get up to.

I was interested in the exhibit on the Ethics of Objects. The pieces were beautiful, but what really captivated me were the numerous placards of printed exposition by several artists regarding just what art is and why we make it (I include myself in this category, as an actor and writer). The story that stayed with me was of a weaver who had a young Japanese girl come study with her. The girl was not an exceptional talent but was devoted, giving her weaving all of her attention and presence. Eventually the woman began to realize this attitude must be cultural and asked the young woman whether there were any places in Japan to study weaving. She directed the woman to a school where silk weaving was taught. She described how each artist, once qualified, created their own unique, non-repeating artwork to weave into a kimono. It may take an artist a year, or more, to weave and craft that unique work of art. Whomever eventually purchased the kimono payed the artist a year’s wage, or however long it had taken, because that was the worth of the art.

A couple from Dubai are staying with us this month, and the wife is from Vietnam. I told her this story and she said, “Yes. Yes, that is how it was done. There is a place in Vietnam resurrecting these old ways but there are not many.” |t seems so many things are mass produced now. Because, you know… what is the point of only being paid a year’s wage for a year’s work if you can be paid a year’s wage every hour! At least, for the leaders of industry and the owners of capital that is how it is. For those of us who work, and create, and dream…. we are paid a day’s wage after a year!

So cynical in my socialism. Let’s get back to Kinsale. We roamed the streets, grabbed a smoothie at the great juice shop, sat on the quay and watched the sail boats. The breeze was rattling all their riggings, which made a beautiful chorus of tinkling and clacking. It reminded Himself of a hundred someones trying to quiet a room by tapping their silver on the wine glass. It reminded me of a primitive drum circle, where anything close to hand is used as a musical instrument worthy of expressing joy. Have you ever done that? Sat in a circle with others and use your voice, or hands and feet, to create a shared rhythm? It’s great, and a beautiful sound always come of it. Maybe the joy is in the human gathering, the shared experience. Maybe that is art?

We ate fish, which one really must do so near the ocean, and afterwards found 99’s…which were harder to locate than we expected. Before heading home we took a spin toward Charles Fort. I always enjoy going past The Spaniard. The pub is situated on such a great spot, with a wall of outside tables that get the full sun. The tables were all full and each person had a cool pint in hand. That is how summer should be in Ireland!

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