The summer of 1996 - the winter of 1997 went as follows. The second week of June I drove cross country with two best girlfriends for 3 weeks. We returned to New York mid summer and a few days later I flew to San Francisco to interview for art school. I was admitted to a BFA program in early August for January 1997. Three weeks later, the end of August, I got on a plane to live in Ireland for 6 months, before returning home to New York and moving to San Francisco on January 13, 1997. When I think of all the changes and decisions I had made during that time, I have no idea how my parents stayed sane. I was a burning flame trying to find my fire. From place to place. All over. Searching for something that felt like home inside my body. I would find home many places that year. At a campsite in Sedona. Off the highway in Montana. At a cowboy bar at the foothills of the Tetons, at the edge of Big Sur in the Pacific Ocean, and in the green hills of Newgrange outside of Dublin. Ireland proved to be an adventure like no other and one that lives with me as part of my daily life. It is in me. Fully. In the fall of 1996 I traded with a Galway street artist for this beautifully painted stone. It sits on my desk within my direct view everyday. I look at it when I write, my eyes tracing the Celtic knots like a labyrinth when I pause between thoughts. It is quite possibly one of the most valued of my possessions. The bottom of the stone reminds me of the stone fences lining the farmland and if I close my eyes I can almost smell the damp salty air of the Cliffs of Moher. I'll never get over not visiting Ireland every year since I've left. I have yet to go back, but the memories keep me there until I can return.

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