Thursday, November 4, 2010

“An Ocean and a Rock” (Lisa Hannigan)

What is the name of the crest of a wave where it comes to a point and seems to turn white, just before rolling over on itself? That is Lisa Hannigan’s voice. It’s not too heavy, but it isn’t ethereal, either. It’s powerful; it comes from the earth. It’s something you want to sit with for a while, just experiencing it over and over again.

I’ve missed a couple weeks in posting since I got back from China, mainly because I was sleeping all kinds of odd hours and generally getting readjusted to the States. I wasn’t even gone very long, but for some reason, it took a while to get back on track. All that time, though, I was playing Lisa’s album Sea Sew on my computer or my MP3 player, turning it way up, and singing along. On the 13-hour flight back from China, I listened to the album three times in a row. I even did a little chair dancing. I probably looked ridiculous, but after sitting in the same seat for eight hours, I really didn’t care.

At the moment, “An Ocean and a Rock” is my favorite. The title reminds me of one of my most-loved spots on the entire island: a little stretch of rocky coastline behind my friend’s house in Barna, just west of Galway. There weren’t any massive waves that built to a point and rolled over on themselves, but there was the constant pull of ocean and earth. There was salt in the crisp air, and when the sky brightened, it was as though you could reach up and touch heaven. While I was in Ireland, it was home.