Mr. Redmond owns a large estate in the Republic of Ireland. Mary Jane is a visual artist--a member of the Irish-American diaspora. She has been painting during the summer on his land. She has sold several paintings to owners of Georgian mansions in Dublin. “They are not Philistines” she tells Mr. Redmond. Mary Jane has reveled in owning no material things—giving her the freedom and liberty she longed to have for her work. She tells him that she had always thought that: “when one was close to nothing, one was close to the source of all creative power” (the Creator, who made everything from nothing, all creatures and all creation). Mary Jane had an amused detachment for the urgency with which other people pursued cars, clothes and houses and was aware they thought she was beneath them for her lack of them, and above them, in some vague, creative, artistic sense. She really wasted little energy on what people thought. Her energies were sublimated into the creation of a great body of work. Her emotional, intellectual and spiritual address was,- in her inner country,-always on Sublimation Street.
Mary Jane thought when the work was finished, the obsession would pass, but it did not pass. And for the first time in her life she felt an inner turmoil,-tormented even. She remembered her father teasing her mother in Boston, saying: “the Irish do not care about people Kathleen, just the land, green gold”. Was it a window then on her genetic memory?
Realizing she had said too much to Mr. Redmond her instinctual fright, her fight or flight reaction kicked in. She tells Mr. Redmond she will “take the train to Dublin today, and the Bank of Ireland won’t get in my way; I am just a poor artist, but I must have the land, Mr. Redmond, I think you understand”;. “I will speak with the people to whom I have sold my paintings-- they do not buy paintings to match the curtains”.
An artist has lost a mentor to the
deep sleep. It is winter’s depth in Montreal. The Central Canadian chill is
fierce. The artist, comforted somewhat, comes out of a bookstore on
Sherbrooke Street. The afternoon has fled and is surprised to see dusk,
falling snow, and again surprised to see words chiseled in stone. The writer
goes closer to the wrought iron lamp post and sees illuminated the words of
Albert Camus, the Algerian-born writer who lived and worked in Paris and
fought in the French Resistance. The words “In the depth
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