Sunday, 12 June 2011

Distance from the Labyrinth, and Renewed Insight

I have been away since Saturday morning. I needed to think. I took a bus up to Donegal, hitched a ride with an acquaintance out to the beach, pitched my tent and spent a day and a half on my own, with just the rocks and the sea.

It was important to get so far away from the things that plague my everyday mind. It reminded me that once, I had a purpose beyond finding out about my father’s past, beyond piecing together Belfast’s history, and away from the surveillance of others. Not that long ago, I was just making my way along, trying to find my peace. I wasn’t anyone’s Protagonist.

Then I returned late this afternoon, to see the video posted by David. I hadn’t seen his face nor heard his voice in almost a year. Ripe from a day of quiet reflection, of course it has moved me. I must admit, I’m looking forward to finding the end of this labyrinthine tunnel, that seems to endlessly lead us through a world I once considered private … Yet, I continuously appreciate the contributions and talents of those who are involved. We often can’t solve problems alone. David’s interjection is appreciated as well. If he’s reading this, I’m thankful to him.

I think we were very much correct that the labyrinth seems to lead toward Ciaran Carson. You’ve posted plenty of evidence supporting the suggestion that he is involved, and you know I believe it now myself. I’ve tried emailing him and phoning his office, but still no answer. But today after seeing David’s video, I rang my mom again to ask for any information she might have on Arie, Sr. (my dad’s father) and his relationship with Liam Carson.

It seems that Arie, Sr. was actively in touch with many Esperanto speakers via post over his lifetime, and talked about it enthusiastically whenever she remembers meeting him. Apparently Arie, Sr. meant Dad to take over his correspondences when he died, but Dad never learned to speak Esperanto, so he couldn’t do it in the end. Mom also said that occasionally, after his father’s death, Dad would receive random postcards or letters from friends of Arie, Sr., usually in broken English and often from far-flung places—people trying to maintain the links, keep the network alive.

One of these letters, Mom said, was from a man in Belfast named Carson. She found it after Dad’s death, in among the things that were sent to us in Canada. The letter was dated during time before we moved to Belfast, and from the sounds of it this Carson hoped to meet my Dad, claiming that their fathers were lifelong pen friends and even wrote some kind of treatise together by correspondence. But the treatise was a puzzle missing a piece, my mom remembers the letter saying—a piece to be supplied by a future generation. The letter stated that Carson hoped my dad would help him complete the philosophy that their fathers once collaborated to build.

Of course I asked for the letter, but Mom said it’s long gone by now. She doesn’t know anything else; there were no other letters related to this.

All of this links up with what we already know. Knowing my dad, I’m sure that he would have read that letter from Carson, thought it was slightly bonkers, and then tossed it aside … yet he saved it for some reason, even if he never contacted Carson. And if they met again in Belfast, as the suicide note suggests, it may be that Carson never revealed his name. Maybe he was simply looking for the puzzle piece.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Aster's Letter

This arrived in the post this morning.

The envelope is empty (I'm guessing there was never a real letter inside). Thoughts?


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Conspiring across boundaries...

I’m tired of letting a stranger, ie. invisible belfast, scare me. The past few weeks have brought up a lot of my own issues with my past, and what I’ve learned so far is that, although I don’t trust invisible belfast’s motives, I can trust the conspirators. Thank you for that.

I think that this person, or group of people, is located at the ‘heart of Belfast’, and when we find that center we will also find out who those people are. I’m not entirely sure that the center is a geographic one, although we have been sent to various places. Invisible belfast is all about playing with the city’s many layers; maybe the center is more than a place. Just a thought.

I know it might seem unexpected to some of you that I contacted invisible belfast about the video task. I thought about it for a few days before I did, considering whether it would seem disloyal, like conspiring with the enemy. But I need you to give us your perspective, your story, of what has happened so far. You see my version in my vlogs and blogs every day … but it’s hard to keep on top of what’s happening when you’re in the middle of things. If we can speak out to each other about what the mystery is from each of our perspectives, maybe it will yeild some progress. I think it will.

And we can use these videos to draw more people in as conspirators. I feel like we might have a limited amount of time to solve the mystery. I feel like time is running out.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Suicide Note

I received the following from my mom last night. I'll paste her email, and then attach the letter as images. Please treat this with sensitivity; the decision to share it wasn't easy.


Hello my sweet girl.

From our phone call I can tell that you’re doing a lot of soul searching these days. And I can guess from the questions you asked about your father, that living in Belfast is stirring up the past for you. Just be careful. As you know, analyzing too much can be a dangerous thing.

Anyway. It’s quite interesting, everything you told me about the Pleiades play. Quite a coincidence that it’s the same subject as your dissertation, isn’t it? I have a feeling you may have chosen Messier 45 because of your father. When you were about five or six he used to speak about those stars; do you remember that? It was a difficult time with him, so I do my best to forget it. But maybe it’s relevant now.

In those days, I think his work wasn’t absorbing him enough, and his mind started going. He became obsessed with ancient Talmudic scripture, historically I mean, and apparently the Pleiades has some significance there. Your dad was quite low at the time, a bit off the rails if you want the truth. He was obsessed with the number seven, obsessed with maps. But then, after a while, he found a new job and we moved to Belfast and it turned. We were fine for a short while again.

Oh, Ana. All this has me worried about you. I’m sure you’ll be fine, and yet, sometimes I think you have his nature in certain ways. I think I can spot the signs now, and something in our phone call today reminded me of your father. But maybe I’m just worrying too much.

Still. I’m attaching a letter from your father. Not because I especially want to, but because I think it’s time. I don’t know what you’ll make of it. I hope it helps you through what you’re dealing with right now, gives you some insight. As a protective mother, I admit I hope it turns you away from this mystery. Think of what happened to your father, Ana.

I love you, and please phone me again if you need anything at all.

Love and hugs,

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Water Clock

As you can imagine, or as you know if you were there, last night was a strange one.

The Water Clock was on at the QFT/Brian Friel Theatre. I was running late due to all the bomb scares around Belfast; does anyone know the significance of these? Why yesterday? Anyway, I got there just before it started.

The show seemed to be a sort of walk through the imaginations of four sisters, five if you count the one who spoke at the opening, that told a story about their past, including the loss of their youngest sister Taygeta. The sisters are named for the Pleiades, which was evident by their names in the program, if not by their nicknames (Ty, Ellie, etc.). One of the sisters was nicknamed Meri, and although I haven’t seen her in person in a few years, looked to be my old friend Meri Cain, and spoke about a boyfriend named David (the name of Meri Cain’s boyfriend). As if she was playing herself on stage.

I knew from her recent blog posts that Meri was coming back to Belfast, and she has been following [in]visible belfast with us, but she said nothing about having any involvement in The Water Clock, which is somehow connected with the mystery … I’m certain she is lying about some things. The question is why. I’ve been ringing Meri’s mobile number since last night after the play, but she's not answering.

I was handed a camera at the start of the play, right when I was seated, and told by the person who handed it to me (a “guide”?) to record everything I saw. I did my best. Then, at the end of the show, the guide took it off me again, and never explained why I was filming. Other people seemed to have been given handheld cameras as well. Were any of you?

I was so focused on watching the play and trying to film it that I completely forgot the task of picking up the letter from Aster’s scene. Did anyone pick it up?

As for the story of the play, my take on it is this. A Narrator introduced us to the story, about seven sisters who have a painful history. He told us that this would be a trial, and that the opinions of the audience would count for something. Then he opened the floor to the sisters.

There were six sisters in the play. In age order I would guess: Maia, Ellie, Alce, Meri, Ty. Each of them had part of a story to tell, and each of them had some sort of residual cross to bear, related to her father. The play really began when the oldest sister Maia wrote a letter inviting the other sisters to her home (their childhood home) to honor the 20th anniversary of the death of the youngest sister. Then you see each of the other sisters, getting a sort of glimpse into her life or her mind, traveling from one backstage space to another, led by the guides.

The second act was more traditional, as we were seated in the Brian Friel Theatre. I sat with a girl from my course who I ran into during the intermission, and afterwards we discussed what we think the father’s crimes were. The father killed the youngest, Ty, by using her as a “human shield” when his paramilitary cronies were after him. There also seemed to be the possibility of the girls being abused somehow, hinted at in a couple of the early scenes and then quite strongly in the second half. The father never showed up, giving it a sort of Godot-esque quality, but there still had to be a trial, according to the Narrator. So he put Maia on trial; it is revealed that the father was never coming.

Maia was made to give a testimony. Then the Narrator stopped the storytelling and demanded that the audience vote Guilty or Innocent, and votes were taken. The majority vote was innocent. The Narrator attempted to overturn this somehow, and the sisters overpowered him. In the final bit of the play, the Narrator seemed to stand in for the father, and pay for his crimes in some sense.

Things that caught my eye, beyond the obvious … Meri had the book Invisible Cities sticking out of her bag; the Faulkner quote in the second act about time; that fact that there was no seventh sister (Celaeno).

I don’t know what else to say right now. I left the theatre feeling very confused; it was all a bit surreal. Any thoughts from any of you?