In our second interview, I asked Joe and Mary what feels most like home to them. Joe responded that he feels a certain sense of proprietorship in Ireland and feels comfortable there in his interactions with the locals and navigating the societal and cultural ways. He explains that Canada, on the other hand, is home because of friends and family and the place itself has come to feel familiar over time. Mary’s response, featured in this clip, is fairly similar, particularly in the emotional connection she feels with Ireland and the freedom she experienced when moving around Dublin.
Her moving description of preparing to leave Ireland after her visit and looking over the Dublin Mountains illustrates an idea expressed by many geographers: that landscapes are tied to identities and emotionally charged memories. In addition, her discussion of the places she visited in Dublin and how she made her way around the city fits with social anthropologist Tim Ingold’s (2011) concept of place. Ingold argues that human lives unfold along paths. Using the metaphor of a trail of thread, he explains that as people move, they leave a trail. The spaces they pass through regularly and meet with others become knots and these knots become places of significance which bind people in some way. Mary’s choice of words, her description of her connection to Ireland as a “string,” is particularly fitting then, as it conveys a sense of an attachment that spans an ocean, a thread that connects the knots of Manitoba and Ireland.
Photo: O’Connell Bridge, Dublin.