On attending Space, Place and Obligation, Maynooth University, Sept. 2018
The week I started reading Greer’s The Female Eunuch was also the week
I listened to artists speak about their craft and their craft’s groundedness
in the places they inhabit; oftentimes uneasy places, conflicted, elusive,
un-arrived at. And why not, given their preoccupation was with place
and also obligation, some spoke about their fathers and how they could
not understand their children’s pastimes were also winning bread. How they,
however worried, provided still the spaces for these pastimes to take place.
Does obliging derive from obligation? I sat and muttered to myself.
And it occurred to me that more alienation might have happened had you
lived to know the woman I’ve become: Not only reading, but tentatively
lippy, eye-rolling, back-turning to boot, not sticking to the path you had
prepared; now treading flat, now shunning shoes that slow me down.
Whatever the odds, the evidence, I came away with the distinct impression
that errant you might somehow be a conduit of place and therefore, self.