Lifting up the stubborn window shutter. I narrowed my eyes to the blinding sunlight. I was on a plane hovering over Dublin, Ireland. Shading my eyes with my hand, I gazed at the patches of green below and released an immediate sigh of incredulity and wonder. New York, my home, was a distant image in my mind now, and I felt as if Dublin had become my new abode. Having traveled this far for a writing program, I was anxious to get off the plane and scribble down inspirations in my notebook.
Upon arrival in Dublin, my fellow peers and I were picked up by a bus that drove us around as we took in the beauty of the landscape. There were clusters of sheep lingering on every green field we passed. There were mountains garnished with lush and vibrant flowers. There were men, women, and children walking on the sides of the roads, happily gaping at the sights as well.
After an hour, the bus dropped us off at Trinity College, where we were housed and provided with food for the week we were in Dublin. I was in for another shock. The tall campanile at the center of the campus stood and proclaimed its glorious beauty to me. I stood, taking pictures of the campus, feeling both small and large at once.
After settling into our rooms, my friends and I headed out to Grafton Street, a main shopping area in Dublin city centre. Lines of gifted individuals busked on the sides, as we walked down the street. Occasionally stopping to listen and applaud talent, I began to realize that Dublin’s culture truly encourages artistic expression. I was already aware of the importance of Irish literature to the country’s people, but I had never before considered the other areas of art—music, visual arts, and the performing arts.
For the remainder of my stay in Dublin, I was consistently shown how art-oriented the city is. I witnessed a young Irish boy who played a violin that created some of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. I visited Dublin Writers Museum, a quiet and refreshing exhibit of some of the best literary authors from Ireland. Listening to various bits about these authors’ lives, I absorbed the extensive history and influence of Irish literature. I also went to a quaint theater where I watched the performance of a play The Weir. The acting was compelling and the plot was incredibly gripping.
Walking back to Trinity College after the play, I passed walls covered by fliers inviting people to plays, dances, poetry readings, and gallery openings. With each of these fliers that I saw, I felt more inspired and proud of the world in which we live. I realized how much Dublin echoed New York and how much New York echoed Dublin because of their shared love for art. It is amazing how artistic passion transcends all boundaries, wherever you go. It is a univeral phenomenon—this infatuation with artistic expression—and during my trip to Dublin, I was hit with the knowledge that it can endure forever, just about anywhere.
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