Lets talk about Dublin. I am very curious, what do you keep in your memory as this is deeply your city. You left Dublin four years ago, so facts, personal stories and observation can appear now in a new light. You have spent a major part of your life there, went through some experiences as an artist, you sharpened your intelligence there, and I know your heart is still there. I believe the photos I'll show you, which I've been taking during a couple of years, will create the mood for your answers. Can we scratch the surface, get deeper to areas, which are not clearly visible for the short term visitors?
[yes] Over the past year or so I have been experiencing recurrent dreams about returning to Dublin on short excursions. Typically, I am wandering through familiar streets when I realize that I have to leave for Japan again that evening. I remind myself how precious these few hours are and then I wake up. Upon waking I look at my 3-year-old daughter lying beside me asleep and appreciate just how precious these times are with her. I reminisce about Dublin but I also understand that it is now a Dublin of my past as well as a place of my imagination.
This leads me to consider the idea that my realities are in fact imaginings. Imaginings can also be the realities, they interchange and flow through each other like mingling gasses. When I lived in Dublin it was still an idea to me, a lifestyle. At the time I imagined what living in Japan might be like only to discover that the actuality of living here is simply another feat of my imagination. Even while I sit here with real surroundings evident, I am mostly aware of how tangible things are as I imagine them to be.
It’s interesting to think about the relationship of imagination to the actual. I imagined Japan and then it became actual. Dublin was actual and now is imagined.
I’m living in a kind of Plato’s Cave wherever I am, so in that sense Dublin is as real to me now here in Japan as if I were actually there writing this. In fact, as I think about it, the duality of reality and imagination is a theme that I have been cognizant of for most of my life. It first found expression in my early work as an aspiring student artist back in the distant eighties and its something I have thought about ever since. I thought about it even earlier when as a child I wondered if the world around a corner out of my sight was even real at all. Was what I imagined real, or was reality what I imagined.
Apologies for the detour into pretentious sounding metaphysics but hand on heart the older I get the more I think about everything to be in this way. You talk about me sharpening my intelligence and forgive me for sniggering at its lofty presumption but over the years something has been honed in my thinking alright. I think it’s mostly my awareness that my ignorance is always increasing and that is a measure of my sanity.
Ok I am looking forward to seeing the photos that you propose to send me for the purpose hopefully of jogging some stimulating conversation. I rely on you Richard to assist in the excavations to come as we tentatively attempt to claw our way through the surfaces that you describe.