The Penultimate Gatherings Post ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 364

The journey through a year in this Gatherings from Ireland series has been a very different kind of experience to what I envisaged when I set myself the task of undertaking it.

I see now that I had  very rigid views about  what ‘gatherings’ involved.  I had thought that the main focus would be on ‘events’ where at least two people were present. I came into it all with thoughts of Robinson Crusoe and the fact that once Man Friday arrived on the scene, a society was formed.  I was definitely thinking along the lines of people and events.

Haymaking c. 1960 Photo: Frank Tubridy
Haymaking c. 1960
Photo: Frank Tubridy

Gradually I came to see ‘gatherings’ in terms of plurality of any description, be it stones, bridges, journals, hurleys,  people, colours, waves, poems, places, photographs and then there was the whole business of ‘gatherings’ in more abstract forms, like ideas, memories, thoughts ….. And yet, another dimension was ‘gatherings’ as in ‘ I gather that ….‘ 

Collection of Hurleys at Lar na Pairce, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Collection of Hurleys at Lar na Pairce, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

I’d have to say that one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole series was the experiment in November of hosting the Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. This made the concept of ‘gatherings’ really come alive and I just loved the way people from around the globe came forward with their own take on Colour, Creativity and Connection.

Painting by Clare Scott
Painting by Clare Scott

I’m so glad that I battled through to the end,  as there were times when I felt that I had taken on too much and simply wasn’t prepared to post just anything for the sake of it. I certainly underestimated the extent to which my voice, feelings and moods would come through. This was a personal journey but it is one on which I met many fellow-travelers who kept me going with wonderful comments.

It would have been so interesting to see how a range of people of different ages, backgrounds and interests would have approached this venture. I’m sorry now that I didn’t try to inspire others to join me in the whole project from the outset.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who has joined with me on this journey. There will never be another 2013 and it is so satisfying to be able to look back at the posts which reflect a year in my life, but which also give a glimpse of key events locally, nationally and internationally across a range of different subjects which touched me deeply.

My plan is to take a break from blogging for the month of January and to come back when the snowdrops are in full bloom and the primroses are showing yellow!

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

12 thoughts on “The Penultimate Gatherings Post ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 364”

  1. Will miss you in January, Jean! Thoroughly enjoyed your blog and I wished I could be more involved in gatherings, but perhaps we can still create one. I would love to visit Waterford and meet you in Tramore sometime in February or March.

  2. Well done, Jean – that’s quite an achievement. I didn’t ‘discover’ you until towards the end of your year of gatherings but am very glad I did. Will be following you in 2014 too and I’m sure your blog will go from strength to strength with all your experience gained in 2013. Health and happiness in the new year!

    1. John, thanks so much for writing. It’s always my pleasure to bring people on ‘vacations,’ be they real or virtual to my beloved Ireland, and especially Co. Waterford.

  3. Jean you’ve been one of the busiest bees in bloggerland in 2013 and I’ve enjoyed all of your deeply-felt posts with wonderful images, illustrations etc. You’ve earned a break. Happy New Year.

  4. Many thanks, Roy! I deeply appreciate all the support and encouragement which you’ve given me along the way. Now I’ll have time to read Tess! Happy New Year to you too. I hope it’s full of health, happiness and inspiration ~ as well as a trip to Co. Waterford!

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