Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Synged In Aran
"Je suis Synge, pas Singe" is how John Milington Synge introduced himself to a fellow Irishman on Rue D'Assas in Paris. Last Thursday the sun came out and I got singed in Aran. It was a glorious day, summer had happened all of a sudden and I was caught out with lots of rain gear but no sun block.
The scene on Cill Mhuirbhigh beach reminded me of the photograph, taken by Synge, of horses being landed on Inis Oírr, the sharp sunlight glistening on the waves and giving enough exposure to catch the movement of a horse as it came ashore through the surf. Here is how Synge described it:
The horses have been coming back for the last few days from their summer's grazing in Connemara. They are landed at the sandy beach where the cattle were shipped last year, and I went down early this morning to watch their arrival through the waves. the hooker was anchored at some distance from the shore, but I could see a horse standing at the gunnel surrounded by men shouting and flipping at it with of rope. In a moment it jumped over into the sea, and some men, who were waiting for it in a curagh, caught it by the halter and towed it to within twenty yards of the surf. Then the curagh turned back to the hooker, and the horse was left to make its own way to the land.
This is my version.