Outside Dingle

6/28/00

On a hill outside Dingle, hosts of our bed and breakfast hang laundry from the turrets of an old fortress. To them, this structure is inconsequential. Everything is beautiful and banal. These relics are run-through by an electric fence; a shovel rusts on what was once a wall. Shy to admit what moves me, I ask permission to photograph the fortress at dawn. I rise early and head towards the tower. It is approximately 10ft wide and 18ft high a whole history, a crumbling codex. A few years ago someone pegged up a paragraph over the east wall, eager to fill in the margins of its story. The earth ripples around it. Mounds, maybe raths, form false foundations. They enclose a strange kind of climax. I wish that I could read this earth. I climb over its preambles and imagine the watchtower as it was. On a floor that no longer exists, stairs lead southward, and I draw my own conclusions. Some anonymous weight frightens me. Unable to withhold the skeletons who once climbed, I leave without closure.