by Alyssa Smith March. 19, 2017 1420 views

Hello everybody! My time in Dublin is coming to an end; I'm sitting in a train station waiting for the 6:45 train to Galway. There was a lovely old Irish man on his way to Athy who immediately engaged me in an easygoing lighthearted conversation. He was very kind; I wish I had asked for his name. It was very nice and helped me calm some of my nerves about using the trains. I'm pretty scared I'm going to get on the wrong one. Now though, I feel a lot better. Well, Dublin was in a word, amazing. I stayed with a friend who was kind enough to go out of his way to host me for nearly a week while I got my bearings. I've come out of his home with a deeper knowledge of philosophy and a curiosity of hip hop culture (a couple new moves too). On St Patrick's Day we went to see the parade in the rain before scurrying back to his place to hide out before venturing out once more to show up everyone on the dance floor. I learned about the hip hop religion. I visited its back alley temple of graffiti, the visual manifestation of broken dreams and hope strewn across the concrete in bright garish colors. I was able to worship there by displaying my new found moves and rhythm. It was definitely not the experience I expected to find in Ireland but it is sacred to me nevertheless. I, in turn, dragged my new friend to an exhibition at the Ambassador displaying real human bodies that have been preserved and displayed to show the inner workings of a human being. One might expect such a sight to be macabre but the actuality was enlightening. The human body is a beautiful wonder! We were able to see it in a way that few people have the opportunity to. The exhibit did a very impressive job and combining spirituality, philosophy, and science. It was a very well done. The only thing that I would have changed is the fact that the bodies were referred to as specimens. I felt it really undermined the goal of the exhibit. I wanted to know the names of the people the bodies had belonged to. I wanted to know how they died and a little about who they were in life. My favorite part was learning about the heart and seeing the circulatory system. It was beautiful and fibrous. The system reminded me of coral or red spiders silk. I have to say that my least favorite part the was section on embryos and babies. The exhibit had a preserved embryo for every week of pregnancy. For some reason I wasn't disturbed looking at them, though my friend was. They were beautiful, backlit and tiny. As we circled the room, the weeks got later and embryos grew more defined until finally, at the end in a glass case, there was a fully formed preserved human baby girl. I wanted to make myself look at her and accept her for what she was, a lost life full of potential on display for everyone to see. She hurt to look at and I'm ashamed to say I drew away quickly before I felt I could properly honor her short life. As we made our way back through the streets, we stopped inexplicably at a Disney store where I was immediately drawn to an incredibly soft stuffed pig from the movie Moana. It fit perfectly in my arms and I carried it around the store while we browsed with every intention to put it back. In the end though, I was so drawn to it and felt the need to offset the enlightening day with a dollop of innocence, hope, and fun. So I spent more than I should and bought the silly thing only now to wonder how in heavens name I'm going to lug my new travel companion across Europe. Oh well, I believe it was worth it. He makes me happy and brings me comfort. In the end it will work out fine. Now I just have to name him/her. Drop a comment below if you have any suggestions. Till next time :)

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Steve Blauer 4 years ago

I love the name of that coffee shop! Very fitting!
And piggy's name is Pua. End of story. :)

4 years ago Edited
Camellia Staab 4 years ago

Wilbur as in "Charlotte's Web". One of the nicest pigs ever :)

4 years ago Edited
Cassandra Smith 4 years, 1 month ago

I vote twinkle

4 years, 1 month ago Edited
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