HER WARM EMBRACE
By Ruth Eichmiller
Ruth Eichmiller visited the church in Delgany Ireland where Tori recorded the majority of her Boys For Pele album.This is an account of her journey along with some of the photos she took. Each photo can be clicked on to see it much larger. Only then will you see the details that make these photos special. Many thanks to Ray Caramanna for making the scans for Ruth!
On Friday, my mate Angus and I took the train and then the bus in search of Delgany. Ringing loudly over the horizon I heard bells -"she's over there", I sang as the bus continued through the winding roads. On either side of the bus were fields of green spotted with red, yellow, blue and purple. I smiled to myself and the wise words of Alice Walker ran across my brain, "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." I notice it honey. I notice it.
As soon as the bus drove around the corner we were greeted by the
"Pele Church". Quickly I exited the bus and ran into the graveyard.
I closed my eyes and imagined our sweet songbird and her piano
resoundly emanating the notes of Beauty Queen and Horses.
I relish my time in stone circles and I build them in any graveyard I can find. I love the energy present within graveyards which helps feed the fire of my circles. I was particularly eager to build a circle where Tori's Bosie once stood. I sat within the stone circle seeking guidance and insight into life and the consequences she bears; in turn the circle placed images before my eyes.
This circle was different as usually she brings me images of my own
life or those close to me. The image this day was of a baby girl.
She reached out and touched my heart bringing warmth to my every cell.
As I opened my eyes I was greeted by the grave of a baby girl, Emily,
who had died in 1898. I smiled through my tears and got up to touch
her headstone and could feel the energy from within. All along I
could hear Tori singing: "I know that you are with me. Yes. I know
that you are with me."
There was a lone woman planting flowers in the graveyard. I kindly
asked her if there was any way to see inside the church. She said
everyone was away but someone must hold the keys. She suggested I try
the neighbours. I began by asking the man who ran the small petrol
station right next to the church. He sent me down the hill. After
several cups of tea with the hospitable neighbours, I still didn't
hold the keys. We were about to leave tired and defeated when we
knocked upon the last door.
There was no answer but a neighbour suggested that we return shorly
as David had only stepped out for a few hours. In an effort to pass
the time and fill our souls with warmth, Angus and I went for a walk
for a walk through the tree lined roads. It was a beautiful sunny
day. We stopped along the way to sing to a few horses and sheep then
picked a path hoping it would lead us back to the church and the
house of David. I knocked upon his door and asked if it was possible
to see inside the beautiful church. He smiled and handed me the keys
and said- "you run over and let yourself in. I'll be right with
you." Like a school girl in love, I skipped over to the church and
unlocked the door.
Slowly I walked into the church and had visions of my ancestors singing their responsorys and hymns. "This is the day. This is the day. This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it..." echoed in my mind. Quietly and with surrender I knelt at the front of the church and I began to hear the opening chords of Muhammed My Friend. As I opened my eyes I saw David smiling down at me. "Her music really touched your soul didn't it?, he asked. "More than you'll ever understand", I replied. He gave me a tour of the church which was moved to surround a monument. I sat in the front pew listening to David's voice as I wondered about those who had worshipped here. I wondered about all of the laughter and tears that were spilled within these walls in the name of redemption. I slowly began to cry; as my tears of fear had been transformed into tears of courage. For the Church had touched my heart and turned my sorrow into joy. As I left the embracing confines of the Church I turned to wave good-bye; and as I turned I saw an image of baby Emily smiling and waving. It was clear to me why Tori had chosen this Church as the birthplace of Boys For Pele. No, it was clear to me why this Church had chosen Tori to add her words of wisdom and strength to her walls.
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