I’m writing this piece on a train carriage. There’s a topless man drinking a can of Devil’s Bit cider sitting in the next row of seats. The smell of cigarettes from him is as powerful as it is disgusting.
I started a new book on this journey, one I picked up on a thought-filled, aimless wander around Blackrock shopping centre. My mind was worlds away, unsure where I was or what I was feeling but my feet took me a shop Liane loved – Dubrays Bookshop.
The book sat in front of me as soon as I walked in the door, on a small stand, winking up at me with it’s sea blue cover. It is called “I found my tribe” and tells the story of how the author, a mother of five children, has found saviour from the cards life has dealt her in the cold embrace of the sea. Ruth Fitzmaurice's husband, her best friend and the father of her children has Motor Neuron Disease and can now only communicate with his eyes.
So much of what she has spoken about in the first five or six chapters resonates with me. I leave the sea, like her, a different person to when I go in. I have friends, like her, who accompany me on my daily dips. I am jaded, like her, of being brave and of being strong. I put my armour on, like her, when I go to meet groups of people.
I'll write again about the book when I finish it, which I expect to be quite soon, but for now urge you to buy it, read it and live through the lens of an articulate, funny, heartbroken and exceptionally strong woman.
When inspiration is needed it will be to her writing that I will turn.