He sits in an old armchair in the corner covered with bits of blankets and a bucket behind the chair that stinks enough to make you sick and when you look at that old man in the dark corner you want to get a hose with hot water and strip him and wash him down and give him a big feed of rashers and eggs and mashed potatoes with loads of butter and salt and onions.I want to take the man from the Boer War and the pile of rags in the bed and put them in a big sunny... Read more »
Sit and quiet yourself. Luxuriate in a certain memory and the details will come. Let the images flow. You'll be amazed at what will come out on paper. I'm still learning what it is about the past that I want to write. I don't worry about it. It will emerge. It will insist on being told.
There were positive things about the church, that is, in the European cultural sense, the architecture, the liturgy, the music, the art, such as it was, the stations of the cross in the church, the tradition, and the atmosphere of awe and mystery in the mass. The atmosphere of miracle, one of mainly mystery, that's what fascinates me.
There’s no use saying anything in the schoolyard because there’s always someone with an answer and there’s nothing you can do but punch them in the nose and if you were to punch everyone who has an answer you’d be punching morning noon and night.
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
First of all there is always that artistic challenge of creating something. Or the particular experience to take slum life in that period and make something out of it in the form of a book. And then I felt some kind of responsibility to my family.
The master says it's a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it's a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there's anyone in the world who would like us to live. My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything. Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job. Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap and goes for a long walk
I've stated before that my number one priority as the steward of the Dodgers is winning, and I believe that hiring Ned is a step in that direction. With his genuine passion for baseball, his intimate knowledge of all aspects of the game, and solid leadership skills, I am confident that Ned's experience will help the Dodgers put a winning team on the field, year-in and year-out.
He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.
I know that big people don't like questions from children. They can ask all the questions they like, How's school? Are you a good boy? Did you say your prayers? but if you ask them did they say their prayers you might be hit on the head.
I told her tea bags were just a convenience for people with busy lives and she said no one is so busy they can't take time to make a decent cup of tea and if you are that busy you don't deserve a decent cup of tea for what is it all about anyway? Are we put into this world to be busy or to chat over a nice cup of tea?
You never know when you might come home and find Mam sitting by the fire chatting with a woman and a child, strangers. Always a woman and child. Mam finds them wandering the streets and if they ask, Could you spare a few pennies, miss? her heart breaks. She never has money so she invites them home for tea and a bit of fried bread and if it's a bad night she'll let them sleep by the fire on a pile of rags in the corner. The bread she gives them always means less for us and if we complain... Read more »
I must congratulate myself, in passing, for never having lost the ability to examine my conscience, never having lost the gift of finding myself wanting & defective. Why fear the criticism of others when you, yourself, are first out of the critical gate? If self-denigration is the race I am the winner, even before the starting gun. Collect the bets.
Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won't let them because there's nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep 'em busy or they might start thinking.
I had no accomplishments except surviving. But that isn't enough in the community where I came from, because everybody was doing it. So I wasn't prepared for America, where everybody is glowing with good teeth and good clothes and food.
I don't absolve my father completely of his responsibility for what he did to us I feel compassion, maybe. He had his demons. But I still can't understand how a man can walk away from children. And leave them to starve, as we nearly did, if it wasn't for my mother going out and begging.
He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. It is your house of treasure and no one in the world can interfere with it. If you won the Irish Sweepstakes and bought a house that needed furniture would you fill it with bits and pieces of rubbish? Your mind is your house and if you fill it with rubbish from the cinemas it will rot in your head. You might be poor,... Read more »
People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying school masters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years. Above all -- we were wet.
In the high school classroom you are a drill sergent, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low-level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother-father-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw.
Before the famine, which was in the 1840s, that was an emotional turning point... There are various documents showing how the Elizabethan English, in particular, were shocked by Irish displays of affection, by the way women acted toward strangers, walking up and putting their arms around them and kissing them right full on the mouth.