Bright night

Alice Tay­lor’s new book lights up the West Cork town of In­nis­han­non.

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Áilín Quin­lan

Each of us trav­els through life, but what mat­ters is not the des­ti­na­tion, but how we en­joy our jour­ney — that’s the phi­los­o­phy be­hind au­thor Alice Tay­lor’s new book which has just been launched by well­known singer Linda Kenny.

More than 200 peo­ple at­tended the event in In­nis­han­non, which took place in a can­dlelit venue bright­ened by huge jugs of sun­flow­ers and the work of var­i­ous artists.

“It was a won­der­ful evening,” said Ms Tay­lor of the evening which was held in the vil­lage’s spe­cially dec­o­rated Par­ish Hall.

Her new book is dif­fer­ent to pre­vi­ous works, which are of­ten rooted in the phys­i­cal com­mu­nity and tra­di­tions of West Cork.

And Life Lights Up, the West Cork au­thor’s 25th book, com­bines po­etry and prose to ar­rive at a more spir­i­tual tone it ap­pre­ci­ates, says Ms Tay­lor “the now, and liv­ing in the now.” The sun­flow­ers at the launch were in­spired by the book-jacket, which fea­tures a blaz­ing sun­flower grown from a seed planted by Tay­lor’s grand­daugh­ter El­lie Ang­land.

The book, which is di­vided into sev­eral sec­tions — Aware­ness, Roots, Spe­cial Mem­o­ries in the Gar­den, Small Kind­nesses and Then and Now, is all about the bless­ings that are be­stowed upon us dur­ing our in­di­vid­ual jour­neys through life, says Ms Tay­lor, who says that it is im­por­tant that we try to be present for those spe­cial mo­ments gifted to us.

“The book is es­sen­tially about our golden mo­ments that are ‘gifted’ to us,” she ex­plains, adding that it is a loss to us if we fail to be ‘present’ at the mo­ment the ‘gift’ ar­rives.

It is for these mo­ments, she says, that we scale moun­tain tops, pen­e­trate the depths, pit our­selves against the might of man and na­ture.

Amaz­ing mo­ments can be gifted to us, she ex­plains, by chance, na­ture or even our fel­low hu­mans:

“We see it in a beau­ti­ful bal­let when the bal­le­rina be­comes a bird in flight. We read it in a soul-stir­ring poem. Words writ­ten long ago al­low us to see the world through the eyes of the poet. We see it in an exquis­land­scape, ite paint­ing. On the can­vas you and the artist are one.

“When we are gifted with these rare mo­ments a ray of ra­di­ance en­com­passes us. It lifts us up and we ex­pe­ri­ence an in­ter­lude that in­fuses us with de­light and a pos­i­tive be­lief in the great­ness of our fel­low hu­man be­ings.” “While we wish that these mo­ments could last for­ever, she says, if we mind­fully ab­sorb them as they hap­pen, we can en­cap­su­late them into the depths of our sub­con­scious, where they “mould” them­selves into the fab­ric of our be­ing and carry us over the stum­bling blocks that may be up ahead.

And Life Lights Up by Alice Tay­lor is pub­lished by the O’Brien Press. €20

Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

Linda Kenny, who launched Alice Tay­lor’s new book, ‘And Life Lights Up’, with Alice and Sharon Hug­gard at In­nis­han­non Hall.

Aileen Cremin and Han­nah O’Leary at the launch of Alice Tay­lor’s new book. Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

At the launch of the lat­est book at In­nis­han­non Hall were Sharon Hug­gard, Mar­garet O’Shea and Eleanor O’Ma­hony with au­thor Alice Tay­lor.

Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

Pic­tured at the launch of Alice Tay­lor’s new book were Gillian Cough­lan, so­prano Linda Kenny and Lena Ang­land.

Pic­ture@ De­nis Boyle

Mary Nolan O’Brien (left) who held an art ex­i­bi­tion in con­junc­tion with the launch of Alice Tay­lor’s new book, pic­tured with Ger Spring, and Eileen and Leo McMa­hon.

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