Here’s a secret dream of mine: there are few things I want more from this life than to have an entire holiday dedicated to a book I wrote, although, full disclosure, I’m no closer to finishing Ulysses than I was last year.

However, I did finish Dubliners and would 10/10 recommend!!

Bloomsday Events in D.C., USA

Bloomsday Events in Dublin, Ireland

Bloomsday Events in London, UK

Bloomsday Events in Montréal, Canada

Bloomsday Events in Philadelphia, USA



literally no further than last year so last year’s pic is just as accurate alas


“and yes, i said yes”



It’s Bloomsday!

     Here’s why it’s a big deal…

Ireland is known for its literature, and Ireland is known for its history of persecution via Norman & English invaders. Therefore, when Ireland’s literature is persecuted abroad or at home, its literature becomes iconic, a voice for the oppressed.

Bloomsday celebrates the banned book, Ulysses, by Éire’s native son, James Joyce, ergo, it is a huge festival in Ireland and internationally, courtesy the diaspora.

Addendum, as to why I celebrate: I’m Irish, but I am also a huge supporter of reading banned books. It’s important not to let someone else’s idea of “right” and “wrong” taint yours, and even if the books were banned with the “best” intentions, I believe we have every right to read them. (Also, the libraries would be depleted of books very quickly should every contested novel be ousted.)


this is my 1946 edition, courtesy a library book sale (and a Trinity knot necklace)

Here’s a quick history lesson…

16 June 1904 is celebrated as the 24 hour period in which Irish novelist James Joyce turned in the magnificent, bawdy and extremely dense novel Ulysses.

Ulysses has been both heralded by great authors and decried by noted reviewers alike, and was banned in the United States from 1922 until 1934 (the U.S. Espionage Act wreaked havoc on free speech during and after the First World War.)

Not to say there weren’t copies of the “obscene book” smuggled into the U.S.

Addendum: In the 2011 historical novel The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt (set in 1920’s New England & France), two young women go to Paris to have Joyce sign their copy of the novel; an interesting fact is the author of Scrapbook is the goddaughter of Sylvia Beach, Joyce’s publisher, in real life


and here’s Dubliners (1971 ed.) chillin’ in the living room

Here are synopses…

“Joyce’s Ulysses is a novel of eighteen “episodes,” all set in Dublin, Ireland, between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 am, June 16-17, 1904. The three main characters are a young school teacher and aspiring writer named Stephen Dedalus (the main character of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), a middle-aged Jewish advertising salesman named Leopold Bloom, and Leopold’s wife, Molly Bloom. During the composition of Ulysses Joyce compiled a working outline or “schema” indicating the title of each episode (each title taken from some character or incident in Homer’s Odyssey), the approximate time and place of its setting, and, for most of the episodes, the bodily organ, the “art,” the color, the symbol, and the “technic” (or technique) significant to each episode, as well as some of the correspondences between characters in Ulysses and in Homer’sOdyssey. In the schema Joyce also divided the book into three main sections, the “Telemachia”–episodes 1-3–the “Odyssey”–episodes 4-15–and the “Nostos”–episodes 16-18. In the brief summary that follows, each entry begins with the title Joyce gave the episode in the schema (these titles do not appear in Ulysses), followed by the time; scene; bodily organ; art; color; symbol; and technic. When Joyce did not include some category for an episode a — is used.”

(Courtesy Weldon Thornton and Morris Beja, Bucknell University)

Longer Synopsis (Extension of Quote Above)

Longest Synopsis (That One is Likely to Read)

…And here’s how far I’ve come as of today:



x. Carey





Mothers are oceans;

they have unfathomable depths.

My mother lost her mother

too long ago for me to know anything

of her but her children & husband’s recollections;

I know little of my grandmother,

save from photo albums in our basement.

My mother feels her absence deeply, I suspect.

Moms are fickle things;

we only know them as they are now,

not who they were when they were younger,

if we were lucky enough to know them at all.

Looking through a meticulous scrapbook of my her childhood,

I learned more about my mother as a woman,

and not as “Mom”.

The more I see,

the harder she is to read.


just how are your eyes this blue?

This year I’m away at school,

and I’ve taken up the habit to ask her,

“how is Noreen?”

and not

“how are you, Mom?”

while on the phone.

It’s a not slight,

nor so much an

“oh, I’m an adult now, so I’ll call you by your first name”


as it is that I am asking her how she is

as a person

separate from her mothering identity.


she likes to hike!

I’m named after my grandmother.

As often as I am proud,

“I was the grandchild named in her honor”

I am afraid, too.

The name is heavy.

There is a weight to this bequeathed crown,

the etymology matters less than

the namesake;

her appellation is my inheritance.

My mother’s patience and imagination

balanced truly remarkably

with her diligence and industriousness.

I will never understand how she has accomplished everything she has;

and has kept her head, too.


I would like to thank you for your kindness,

your hair-stroking (and coloring),

you humor,

and for that time we sat in the great big refrigerator box in the front yard,

eating something out of the carton.

Thank you for your faith in me,

thank you for your trust,

and your love.

I love you, too.

You are wonderful,

and will always be wonderful,

and a wonder,

in my book.

I will never reach your sea-floor

and uncovered all your opal hopes and quiet desires,

but in my book,

you’re always a favorable character,

tough, and beautiful,

vulnerable and valiant.

I want to watch Brave with you, again.

Plot twist:

I think you are more like Merida,

and I’m Elinor.

Lots & lots & garden plots


♥ love ♥


Your daughter,


photographic edits 9 June 2016



We’ve made it.

It’s the Spring, the end of the Winter, the beginning of new life.

The darkness that begins with Halloween

ends today,

with this vernal Holy week.

Today is the day Catholics (and many Protestants) celebrate the Resurrection.

(The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Easter this year on May 1st.)

Many other faiths celebrated ceremonials this past week, and their holidays are noted below.

Easter Rose

In Éire, it’s the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916, which means so much to the Irish.

I can’t begin to explain it, so here is Yeats’ take.


In Sweden, the Easter witches come out, lurking the the shadows until dawn.


In the Vatican, the Pope says a magnificent Mass for everyone.

In Jerusalem, fewer Christians made a pilgrimage this year than last,

and yet the faithful will always come.

♥ ∞ ♥

This past week was also an important one for many other religions.

The Spring Equinox was last Sunday,

and both the followers of Persian Zoroastrian and Baha’i celebrated the New Year on 21st March.

The 23rd was both Holi, a Hindu festival, and also Magha Puja, a critical date in the Buddhist calendar,

and 24 March was Purim, the Jewish celebration of Queen Esther‘s heroism and her prevention of an impending genocide.

The 24th was also Hola Mohalla, the founding of the Sikh Khalsa.

Tomorrow, the 28th of March, is the prophet Zarathustra‘s birthday,

(Holiday research courtesy Dr. R. Sawyer. Much thanks.)

♥ ∞ ♥

My prayers are extended to those affected by the recent acts of terror in Pakistan, Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, and the Côte d’Ivoire.

Banksy expresses hope for world peace beautifully.

Peace, lovelies.

x. Carey

p.s. – I realize that I know very little about the celebrations and customs and traditions of other faiths, and that is a shortcoming of mine. I believe in societal “wokeness”, and now I am on a mission to become religiously woke. If any mistakes have been made above, they are mine alone. “To err is human” said John Donne, but that doesn’t mean we should admit defeat; rather, we should learn and move forward. Excelsior.

(Ever higher).

p.p.s. The images of Florence Welch, in my personal belief, are introspective in a way that I identify with.

Therefore, she frequently appears in many of my posts. Her intelligence and musical artistry are really wonderful.

This is a personal blog, and no intention has been made to undermine or criticize others’ beliefs; these thoughts and expressions are purely my own.

it’s that time of year




My theory is that one day we’ll go back to a non-commercialized holiday season, or a satirically capitalist one, in which we’ll watch Elf for an oddly child-friendly Will Ferrell, and Scrooged for the eighties-corporation perspective.

Or maybe we’ll read holiday picture books and I’ll find milk/egg/wheat free waffles to eat. (Or are those simply oats??)

Regarding the Winter solstice, I hope the longer days will somehow rocket forward faster in the calendar year, and January.February.March will not remain the sad months they are.

I had to write a research paper about Hamlet once. It was due two days after it was assigned. So I wrote about Hamlet having seasonal affective disorder and Shakespeare not liking Scandinavian peoples and that’s why the play was basically an ergo miseramus all the way.

~Jingle bells~

Happy Winter for the crazy folk, namely my sister.

All the best,



edited (formatting): 26 may 2017


thanks-giving trees


happy thanksgiving

Hey lovelies!

Don’t worry—I haven’t forgotten about you.

I’m taking an unscheduled vacation (oh no!) from ze blog, courtesy: finals and portfolios and other super awesome things.

Never fear,

the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,

and algebra exams.

However, I’ll be back with more awesomeness than ever before you know it!

Happy Thanksgiving, American friends!

And happy Thursday, International friends!

To all the turkey-ghosts reading this post,

good night, and you’ve been delicious.

And to the fair people of Eburg who let us run five miles all over you this morning,

it was a moving experience. 😀

All my love,




halloween vignettes

Seven ravens NYPL

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY courtesy:: digital collection

And it’s said that the dead come back to life on Halloween,

the anglicized All Hallows’ Eve.

But do the saints

and the souls

really truly leave?

I try not to get caught by the smoky ropes each October,

the orange plasticky bowls,

tin foil trinkets,

calories we’ve consumed;

regarding the celebration:

Halloween makes me very sad.

Maybe it’s the last night of the true summer,

the beginning of

the holiday trifecta,

darkness, cold, the bus stop at 6:30 each morning.

My first Halloween,

four months in the world,

I was a Jersey devil,

New Jersey’s eponymous monster,

with a red onesie and paper horns,


Four, five, six,

a witch,

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY courtesy:: digital collection

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY courtesy:: digital collection

the powerful kiddo,

curly false violet hair,

a broom,

black Puritan clothes.

We drove around the District,

leafless trees scratching the car,

visiting the Rapps,


old colleagues,

getting candy, pats on the head,

smelling smoke from a paper cigar,

he got lung cancer later.

I was eight,

and found a book in

my Catholic grammar

school’s library

about the traditions of the Celtic occult and Samhain,

the ancient ceremonials

later fading

into a Christian celebration.

ST. JOE’S, photo my own

Still later, still lower,

into a Victorian past time.

At nine I stopped trick-or-treating,

and began to give the candy to neighbors,

sometimes older boys with classmates came,

asked again and again for more candy,

and I’d say no.

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY digital collections

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY courtesy:: digital collections

They’d go behind a tree,

switch costumes,

still no.

And it was cold, and dark and we’d watch the Great Pumpkin,

and then at twelve I was a Heather,

killing only myself,

no candy for anyone that year.

And fifteen,

a scary movie,

walking to the bus

thick-aired All Saints’ Day,

I prayed for myself,


and asked for Thomas Aquinas’ intercessions.

My grandfather died the next February.

I am still mad sometimes.

At seventeen,

I was at the Center,

allergic to

and forced to

eat horrible things.

The party my sister held was my funeral.

blinding (2)

BLINDING, photo my own

A bright friend came over,

and we talked,

giving allergen-free candy to the


So many ice queens,

so few witches,

is that good?

I fell asleep with tea lights refracting into my room,

shrieks from the dancing woods

the glass moon glowing

again in my room.

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY digital collections

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY     courtesy:: digital collections

L. died this year.

I am still sad.

I don’t think I will dress up again,

and the parties are a no,

but I am living

and breathing,

and when I told him about my love of Yeats,

I didn’t mean the cemetery gates thing.

I meant Aengus,


looking for his apple blossomed bride,

 but he didn’t understand.

That was last year, too.

And Halloween is a beautiful tragedy,

but we are stronger this year,

and we are not tragic.

irish culture


favorites · 2015 edition

1) MOVIE:: The Secret of Roan Inish, a 1994 movie about Fiona, a girl who lives in County Donegal with her grandparents, and is searching for her brother, who was washed away to Roan Inish. (Interestingly, the movie was filmed by an American director; however its veracity was far less suspect than that of John Wayne’s A Quiet Man, which isn’t worth linking to here.)

2) BAND:: The Pogues, as they are known in America. An Irish punk-folk band, formed in London, famous for their song “Fairytale of New York“, though “Young Ned of the Hill” is my favorite.

3) BOOK:: The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. Though the author’s only novel takes place in London, the marvelous fruit himself was an Irishman.

4) SONG:: “Beautiful Day”, U2.

5) GIRL’S NAME:: Maeve, after the warrior queen. The name means “Enchantress”.

6) GIRL SAINT:: St. Dymphna!

7) BOY’S NAME:: Malachy, meaning Messenger.

8) BOY SAINT:: St. Brendan, who sailed to Brazil in the Middle Ages, (or so the legend goes).

9) POP ICON::Bono, for his social work.

10) POET:: Yeats!

12) IRISH HISTORICAL FIGURE:: Éamon de Valera (though American by birth) for his political and Irish independence activism.

13) IRISH-AMERICAN:: Caroline Kennedy


15) MY MOST IRISH HABIT:: Crocheting (but I cannot do lace–yet!)

I wish you all a happy evening!

x. Carey

updated/edited: 30 May 2016