“Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.” Oscar Wilde
With those inspirational words in mind, I have a few stories to share. In order to know more, and be more, and do more, I usually start at Grogan’s. Friends and acquaintances alike tell me that they think of me whenever they go by the place. (The first time I went to Grogan’s I was reading Michael Harding’s memoir Staring At Lakes at the bar. And I came to the section of the book where Michael Harding mentions being in Grogan’s – as I mentioned while I’m sitting in Grogan’s – cosmic stuff. It’s happened to me a couple times – when the novel I’m reading mentions my exact circumstances.) Anyway, this past Sunday I was in my apartment until 4 or so, when I finally headed over to Grogan’s. On the way there I ran into a guy I had actually met at Grogan’s last year. (I really liked him, but it didn’t work out.) I was so surprised and happy to see him and we had a lovely chat. The kind of chat that restores your faith in men. So with renewed vigor, I walked the last few blocks to the aforementioned pub. I decided it was about time, I mean I’d been in Dublin for a week, and so I ordered the one and only ham and cheese toastie with a slice of tomato and an Irish coffee to go with it. It was everything I thought it would be which is quite rare in life I’ve discovered. Within a few minutes I started chatting with Brendan, a young guy from Belfast who was just down to Dublin for the weekend. After a bit we decided to walk over to Hogan’s for a change of scenery. At Hogan’s Brendan ran into a few people he knew, and we scooted over and joined them at their table. Three women, two sisters, Gil and Shawna, and their friend Maeve. Gil’s ex boyfriend was added to the mix – Elliott – a musician and actor who looked very much like a young Tim Robbins only better. It was a motley crew. I asked him who his favorite actors were – Boggie, Spencer Tracey, Daniel Day-Lewis made the list, but Richard Burton was at the top. Then for the actresses – we all agreed on Audrey and Vivien Leigh and when someone mentioned Isabelle Adjani, we almost all said together, “Did you know that Day-Lewis broke up with her by email?” (or was it a FAX? Regardless, it was electronic.) And yes, we all knew that.
Elliott said to me, ” I’m in a play now at the Bewley’s Theater at Powerscourt. I would love for you to come see it. I’ll leave a ticket for you. It’s called Love and War – it’s about love and loss in WWII.”
And so I went yesterday at lunchtime and it was so good, and Elliott was excellent. He sang beautifully and played the guitar as well. And everyone in the audience was sitting at little tables enjoying the play with something to eat and something to drink. And sitting next to me was a woman who’s working on a play of her own and we’re going to stay in touch.
Afterwards I made a quick stop at the LOFT, a shop just next to the theater that is filled with handmade jewelry and vintage clothes. And there was a card on the table with an open invitation from the designer Chupi to a soiree there on Thursday where there promises to be lots of “sparkles and bubbles”. And I think I’m going to stop by in the spirit of knowing more, being more, and doing more. To be continued…