On Justin Vernon

Justin Vernon

Justin Vernon is one of, if not, my favourite musicians. If you don’t know, he’s an Indie Rock/ Folk Rock singer & musician. He’s probably most known as the front man of the band, Bon Iver. He hails from Wisconsin which I think is a really important factor in the context of his music. The landscape undoubtedly comes through in his songs. He has collaborated with many other musicians, artists and singers and is featured on numerous albums. These albums cross many genres and reflexes Justin’s love for music. Here follows just some of his accreditations:

Volcano Choir

Justin continues to be a member of the band Volcano Choir. It is one of his more experimental projects. Their first album, Unmap (2009), had a very minimalist and ambient feel to it. The tracks are dreamlike and there is any emphasis placed on the instrumentation, although Justin does sing in a number of the tracks. The beautiful instrumentation creates a reflective, worldly quality in the songs.  The bells in “Mbira In The Morass” are quite calming but it’s the track “Husks and Shells” that really steals the show for me. The acoustic guitar with the choir, who are almost chanting, create a calming piece.

Unmap (2009)

J.D. Vernon

Justin released his first solo album, Home Is (2001), under the name J.D. Vernon. This album was Blues in nature although it had some Indie Folk elements. In the scope of his work, these were quite personal songs. As opposed to his later projects in bands, the sounds here are rawer. There isn’t that combined sound of instruments which he would later establish in Bon Iver. Here, it’s mainly the acoustic guitar that is accompanying him.

I listened to this work after listening to Bon Iver. He’s so impassioned and spirited here. Because it’s mainly just him and an acoustic guitar, it shines a spotlight on him. Through production and working towards a fuller sound, his later works are very different form his early solo work. There is also the fact that blues can very much be up tempo, and in order to get that kind of rustic, blues tone, he really needed to get into it. He enunciates the lyrics with a blues style.

I adore where Justin came from in terms of his early work. It’s great to hear him play a different type of music. “Leave It Alone” has an infectious beat and the various instruments create a great sound: the guitar riffs and that twang sound, and of course the trombone that plays at the bridge. My personal favourite is “Trainyard Blues.” A straight up blues song. What I love about it most is the harmonica. It’s one of my favourite instruments to listen to. I always look out for it in Americana, Blues or Folk Rock. I don’t even know why, I think it’s just that you can let rip on it and go crazy. In this song, it blends wonderfully with the guitar and Justin’s voice. There’s something quite attractive about a blues song about the railway with a harmonica. Great stuff!

Justin Vernon

Justin Vernon

A few years later he released more solo albums, but this time simply as Justin Vernon. He released Self Record in 2005 followed by Hazelton in 2006. These albums saw a departure from the blues style of his previous solo work. Lyrically, the songs are very personal and there’s still that raw emotion in his voice. However, the songs are more down tempo and arguably sadder. He does explore all lot with new sounds. He does have some instrumental songs thrown in there aswell with a a great listen.

From Self Record, “We Will Never Die” is a brilliant instrumental piece over 10 minutes long. It’s quite worldly and trombone really makes it. Great relaxing song. “Sides” is a song that breaks my heart every time. I tear up whenever I listen to it. It’s the lyrics that really get to me. It’s a similar message to that of “Take Me To Church” by Hoozier, except it came 9 years before the latter. It’s basically a song about homosexuality and persecution and how the church turns its back on them when they need help. When he sings “When they hurt me” and “when they beat me,” he puts so much emotion and pain into it. When the speaker goes looking for help in the local priest he says “you just hung your head and told me it was the door I needed to be going to.” It’s such a heartbreaking song. Just reading the lyrics really impacts on you.

From Hazelton, “Easy” features Justin singing and playing the piano which is a brilliant combination. It’s a really beautiful song. You could lie down and just listen to it. Another instrumental song is “Song For A Lover” which is arguably one of the greatest songs by Justin. It’s so reflective and filled with sorrow. Just riffs on an acoustic guitar with him singing. It’s such a sad song, especially in the second part of the song after the silence. He really just lets go and its almost like he’s lamenting a loss.

Justin Vernon

Bon Iver

Finally, we arrive at the famous Bon Iver. This is where most know Justin from. It’s where I first found him anyway back in 2008. Bon Iver are an indie rock band from Wisconsin, lead by Justin. They’re a band really close to my heart. They’re really important to me in terms of their sound, inspiration, and just to relax.

Their first album, For Emma, Forever Ago, was released in 2007. It’s one of my favourite albums of all time. It literally changed my life and opened me up to new music. As a said earlier, Wisconsin is important in the context of Justin’s music. The proof is in this album. A little background detail. After Justin had broken up with his ex, he retreated to a cabin in a forest in Wisconsin. There he lived alone for 3 months and wrote the material for this album. I know it’s very Thoreau – Walden Pond-ish. But seriously, that isolation sparks creativity and I seriously respect him for that. As for the music, you can actually hear the sounds of the forests in the music. Not, as in, audio of the forest, but interpretations through instruments. It’s mind blowing. You can really hear it in “The Wolves (Act I and II).” You get the little drum beats throughout which is like branches moving or sounds of the forest. The guitar strums are like a fire. As the song climaxes it’s like wolves howling. There’s a kind of choir chanting found in songs like “Lump Sum” and “Creature Fear” which is like the wind. Just the sounds, the instrumentation and the sheer work that went into the album is the reason why I love this band.

For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)

Following on a year from their debut album, they released an EP entitled, Blood Bank, in 2009. There are 4 tracks on the EP but all are quite substantial. It’s described as warm and summery. “Babys” and “Blood Bank” are both great tracks. They former has a piano playing throughout as Justin sings about how “summer comes to multiply.” The latter is story about going to a carnival. They’re both quite warm and active as opposed to the autumnal/wintry theme of For Emma, Forever Ago. “Woods” is a bit weird as it has auto tune, quite a lot actually. At first I was shocked because it’s the polar opposite of Indie Rock. Over time, I grew to appreciate the song. But it’s “Beach Baby” which I love. It’s so calming and immediately transports me to the beach and seaside. The guitar riffs have a sort of Hawaiian feel to them towards the end. I just want to lie down when I listen to it. It’s one of my favourite Bon Iver songs.

Blood Bank (2009)

In 2011, they released their second album entitled, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. The majority of the songs are named after places. Although very much folk rock, this album feels more produced than their previous album. They introduced new sounds and instruments, and in certain places there’s a sort of 80’s feel to the songs, especially in the track “Best/ Rest.” I think it’s because of the saxophone. There also tends to be more electric guitar in this album as opposed to the acoustic in their previous. It has a much larger sound and is very cleanly produced I found. I like the drums and trumpets in “Perth,” they’re like a march. And then it goes mad towards the bridge. “Halocene” is nice, it’s similar to their older stuff. “Towers” has great instrumentation. I love the overall sound of it, the trumpets, guitars, drums, everything. The album artwork, by Gregory Euclide, has become one of my favourite pieces of art.The piece itself is a 3D art piece. It’s so detailed.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011)

Justin also did a mashup of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” & “Nick of Time” which is a beautiful, timeless piece full of emotion. He contributed an original song to the soundtrack for the 2014 film Wish I Was Here. The song “Heavenly Father” has this continuous vocal beat throughout it. I love the lines “I’ve just been up here for God damn years,” “I know about it darling, I’ve been standing here,” and “I was never sure how much of you I could let in.”

His collaborations extend far and wide. Some of these include  Anais Mitchell, Gayngs, Colin Stetson, Kanye West and St. Vincent. It’s clear from all his work how great a musician he is. It is no wonder that he is one of my favourites.

Picking my favourites songs is extremely difficult, but if I had to choose a top 10 they’d be as follows:

10. Bon Iver – Halocene.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011).

9. Bon Iver – Michicant.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011).

8. J.D. Vernon – Trainyard Blues.

Home Is (2001).

7. Bon Iver – The Wolves (Act I & II).

For Emma, Forever Ago (2008).

6. Bon Iver – Lump Sum.

For Emma, Forever Ago (2008).

5. Justin Vernon – Sides. 

Self Record (2005).

4. Justin Vernon – Song For A Lover Of Long Ago.

Hazeltons (2006).

3. Bon Iver – Heavenly Father.

Wish I Was Here Soundtrack (2014).

2. Bon Iver – I Can’t Make You Love Me/ Nick Of Time.

(Circa 2011).

1. Bon Iver – Beach Baby.

Blood Bank (2009).

On Working in a Group

Normally when it comes to group work, it can be quite hit and miss. Sometimes it can be great, other times a disaster. Thankfully most the people I’ve worked with in groups in the past have been easy going and hard working. Once, however, I did have to take up the reigns and get the others to do their bit as no one was really making much effort.

Anyway, the group I worked with for Digital Media were perfect. The others were all quite communicative which is no doubt a necessity. They also all put in their bit of work which is what everyone wants in a group project.

In terms of communicating, we started off by emailing each other and deciding when to meet up. We split up the topic into sub- categories and each took a section. We then decided when to visit the location of our topic which was a former cinema. We took pictures of the site and each did our own research.

When we had all written up of our pieces and met up in the library and put all of our things together on the Wiki page. We set out the proper formatting and references and displayed the pictures appropriately. It was all quite straight forward and one of the least stressful group projects I’ve done! :)

The Search for a Lost Cinema

As part of the Digital Media module, we had to do a group project. The group project included creating a Wiki page for a chosen topic. We were put into groups and given a topic. Ours was on The Ritz Cinema/ The City Theatre.

I’ve lived in Limerick my whole life but I had never heard of either of these establishments. They were way before my time! So I had to do a bit of research beforehand in order to get some details on it.

When we had to go visit the former site, none of really had an idea where it was. When we looked it up, we found out that it was now where Shannon Furniture is located. I was so surprised by this as I pass it nearly everyday and it’s right across form my old Secondary School.

Anyway, we agreed to meet up in town and then walk up to the location. When I got there I noticed that the old building shape hadn’t been changed much from when it was the cinema/theatre. We took pictures of the building and stood in front of it. It was a bit weird because I felt like a tourist posing in front of random buildings in my own home town.

It was quite interesting looking at the present site of a former cinema. Personally, I had been inside the furniture store a countless number of times as a child. Thinking back on it, the store did always had a very odd interior structure for a store. It seemed quite open and large and there used to be a large room in the back that had a resemblance to an auditorium or theatre hall. I guess it all finally makes sense now!


The location of the former Ritz Cinema/ City Theatre.

On Existentialism & Absurdism

Existentialism is a pretty big term to try and coin but basically is revolves around the experiences of the individual in the universe. It is a study of the meaning we give to our lives and the meaning we give to the world. These things in and of themselves have no inherent meaning but only exist in relation to people, society and ourselves.

Existentialism has links to Semiotics which is the study of meaning through linguistics and language. We see the world through the language we use, which can sometimes limit our outlook. The meaning we give the world is relative to the words we use. For example, we use the word table to describe something tan object we put things on and more than often has 4 legs and is made of wood. If this object is made of metal or plastic we still call it a table. If we use it to place books on or eat dinner it’s still called a table. Basically, we as society have all agreed that this object be called a table. That’s the meaning we give to the word “table.” But it is not a “table” in and of itself, it only has that meaning because we have all made that agreement. I can call the object a “hs3 xzzz” and say that that’s what I use to eat dinner on and it would be perfectly credible because that’s the meaning I give to “hs3 xzzz.” Obviously that jumble of letters and numbers means nothing but it shows how meaning is relative and is only based on societal convention.

This leads us onto societal expectations. We are all expected to abide to these non-written agreements and laws like don’t murder and do go to school. These aren’t laws of nature but laws society has agreed upon. They are so ingrained that we don’t question them and they become norms. Obviously “don’t murder” is a very extreme case and people shouldn’t question that law but things like “women should stay at home” was a perfectly reasonable norm to question otherwise we wouldn’t have gender equality, etc. Back in the early 20th century this would seem a crazy thing to revolt against but we can now say it was a just thing to have revolutionised society.

Immanuel Kant notes that our understanding and experiences of the world come from Rationalism & Empiricism. Rationalism is what we learn from raw data and Empiricism is what we learn from our experiences. For example through rationality we learn that touching a hot stove is dangerous because we’ll get burned. It is something we are told. Whereas if we touch a hot stove, empirically we learn that it is dangerous because we can remember the pain of the burn from touching it. It has more to do with the senses and our experiences. These two ideas can be used together but sometimes they may clash.

When we question the meaning of our existence, society or experiences, this is known as existential crisis. This thought process may cause depression, frustration, clarity or increased conviction. It is important to know the truth in life and not live by external forces such as society.

Friedrich Nietzsche believed that there is no objective truth and no pure knowledge in the universe. It is all subjective and agreed upon by people and society. It provides stability in an otherwise chaotic world. This comforts people in the random, meaninglessness of the universe. By questioning this system we can change our lives and society. It will allow us to open our eyes up to man made constructs and systems which restrict and oppress us.

This meaninglessness is recognised in the philosophy of Absurdism. It describes the lack of meaning in the universe and in anything throughout the universe. In people’s search for the truth, they may come to this conclusion of meaninglessness. Sometimes people may go through three of them in stages or experience all of them or just one. Some responses to this realisation are:

  • Emotional deadness.
  • Depression from society’s expectations.
  • Contentedness with one’s life.

With the 2nd, the individual is depressed because their understanding of the world is different from what society portrays the world to be and what society expects of the individual. The inherent lack of meaning may also be too chaotic than they can handle.

With the 3rd, the individual is able to ignore societal constructivism and live their life contently by providing their own meaning to the world.

With the 1st, there is no emotional response. It may lead to extreme emotional deadness and passiveness. This may be a more extreme case of the 2nd response. This meaninglessness may make it hard to express emotions. I will discuss this further using texts where characters have this response.

L’Étranger – Albert Camus (1942)

L’Étranger (1967)

I read this as part of a French Literature module. It was tough understanding the concepts in French, but I think I got the gist of it.The novel follows the tale of a man named Mersault. He shows many signs of emotional detachment and passivity.

At the beginning of the novel, he is attending his mother’s funeral and appears quite unemotional. It doesn’t cry and is seen smoking and drinking coffee by the coffin. Later on in the novel, he ends up shooting and killing a man with whom his friend had fought with. Again he appears apathetic about the murder and feels nothing. He is of course detained in prison and is passive throughout his time there. He does not show remorse or regret. During the time up to his execution, he remains unfazed and accepts his fate. This character portrayal is a perfect example of a person’s unemotional response towards the universe. Although his actions are without a doubt questionable, it shows us how some times people are indifferent towards the world, norms and laws.

Melancholia – Lars von Trier (2011)

Melancholia (2011)

An absolute masterpiece in my opinion. It follows the story of group of characters and their responses to a planet that is on an impact with Earth. Justine (Kirsten Dunst) appears unaffected by any of the events throughout the film.

The film begins on Justine’s wedding day. She disappears from the party on numerous occasions. She appears unhappy. At one instance her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is annoyed by her behaviour and Justine says “I smile and I smile.” To this Claire tells her she’s lying. These lines have a certain truth in the world at large. Some individuals pretend to be alright or happy when in fact they are suffering in society. Society’s expects people to be strong and suffer in silence when in fact there’s nothing wrong with not being happy or not being “ok.” People put on a face so that they won’t be seen differently. Justine later dismisses her new husband when he begins to make love to her. She walks down to the golf course and has sex with another man in a bunker.

In the 2nd act, the planet’s impact is nearing and the characters responses are portrayed dynamically. Justine is unaffected and detached by the imminent destruction of Earth. Claire is distraught and afraid. Claire’s husband is at first confident that the planet will pass by the Earth but when he realises it will in fact impact, he commits suicide. With the collision coming closer, Claire finally accepts her impending death. She wants some comfort from her sister and wishes to do one last thing with her son and Justine. She wants to drink wine on the terrace and sing a song. Justine responds to this by saying, “You know what I think of your plan? I think it’s a piece of shit.” It’s extremely condescending and harsh but it’s from the point of view of someone who is unafraid and is apathetic towards a fearful person. Justine is calm in the face of her death. An amazing scene is when Justine basks naked by a river at night in the light of the planet Melancholia. What makes this epic is the fact that she is giving herself fulling to oncoming planet. It’s like she’s accepting her fate and her death. She gives herself to the universe and it’s endless oblivion. And she is ok with this because she believes it all means nothing.

Lost in Translation – Sofia Cappola (2003)

Lost In Translation (2003)

A film about culture shock and isolation. It shows how individuals can have unemotional responses towards certain things while in a foreign culture. Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is an actor who is doing an endorsement in Tokyo and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is with her husband while he has a photography gig.

Bob is overwhelmed by the Japanese culture and doesn’t understand a lot that’s going on. Charlotte spends some time alone because her husband is working. One day she decides to go explore. A really great  quote she says when she’s talking to her friend on the phone is, “I went to this shrine today and there were these monks and they were chanting and I didn’t feel anything.” She doesn’t find any meaning in her trip to the temple. Her own experiences are different from that of society’s expectations. This fact upsets her as she feels she should have a particular emotional response but in fact feels nothing.

Of course these characters aren’t entirely immersed in Absurdism, it’s more like situational or momentary absurdism experienced through culture shock.

Skins – Effy Stonem (2007-2010, 2013)

Kata Scodelario -Effy Stonem

One of the best characters ever created played by Kaya Scodelario. Also one of the most messed up. She is extremely damaged because everything around her is always fucked up. She is continuously destructive because the universe seems to be against her. Her brother gets knocked down, her boyfriend dies, she becomes depressed. In the final series she seems to have her stuff together. She has a good job and lives with Naomi. Naomi is diagnosed with cancer and Effy is arrested for insider trading. As she is driven away in a police car, she gives her famous “Effy smile.” It’s a smile that shows she knows the truth. She knows that no matter how hard she tries and how good her life is, there will always be something that comes along and messes up her life. Because of this Effy believes there’s no point in feeling anything towards the world or life, because the universe is against her and will ultimately come along and fuck things up.

On James Carstairs

Note: Major spoilers for The Infernal Devices trilogy (2010-2013).

Ok, I just want to point out first that this series was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. Good plot, great characters and story arcs, beautiful writing & setting. I had a few issues with certain things but the main problem I had was of the death of Jem, or rather what happens after the faux death.

I feel as though I should back track. Jem Carstairs is an extraordinary, philosophical character with extreme depth. His health is always teetering on the edge because of his terminal illness. He has an addiction to Yin Fen every since he was poisoned by a demon. It debilitates his long term health yet if he stops taking it he will die, so it is keeping him alive also. Jem has come to terms with his short life expectancy and is very mature for his age (17). He has had to think a lot about death and the beyond because of his illness.

Jem’s story arc in this series is intense and great. He has an extraordinary friendship with Will and his love for Tessa is short but strong. There love is brilliant and fragile and it’s powerful. It’s a joy to read because Jem loves intensely and he sees the world from a certain perspective.

Jem himself is from Shanghai and he’s obviously influenced by eastern philosophies and religions. These sensibilities are brought up throughout the series and are discussed between the characters. Jem has a Buddhist perspective on life and death. Jem loves Tessa and they get married. In Clockwork Prince (2011), he says that “they will stay together on the Wheel” and that he “will love [Tessa] in the next life, and the one after that” (492). Clearly he’s referring to reincarnation. He believes that their souls will meet again and again in the next lives. This is one of the ideas that I really love and it’s explored in my favourite book by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (2004). Now, at the time I had massive admiration for Jem’s character. He was dying but he really believed that they’d meet again in the next life. It took a lot of belief and maturity to do that and I respected him immensely for that.

In Clockwork Princess (2013), Jem is on his death bed and he is at peace with departing this world. We are all sad to see him on his way out, as are the characters.

Will reflects on Jem’s ideology after Jem dies. He says of Jem, “you say we are born and born again.” He then reflects on his own Western sensibilities:

“I say there is a river that divides the dead and the living. What I do know is that if we are born again, I will meet you in another life, and if there is a river, you will wait on the shores for me to come to you, so that we can cross together” (325-326).

Clearly, with the story arc, this provides the reader with a departure. I know his death is painful and the readers and characters mourn his death. It is a great loss but we must remember the Jem who lived his life to the fullest. He was an intense person and a great character. He is a powerful character who was unafraid of dying, as by his philosophical beliefs. The characters mourn and the story seems to move forward naturally. This is all presented quite beautifully. I know it’s morbid to say that about death but with the reflection of his life over the past 3 books, it feels like a relief to see him not suffer any more. It feels like a natural conclusion to his arc.

My problem is that… he comes back. He’s turned into a Silent Brother. I hated that decision by Cassandra Clare, the author. I don’t think Jem would have done that. I think it’s selfish and it’s character defamation. She always does this, she can never let go of a character. It’s so cowardly. Jems story arc was beautiful and his death really rounded it off, but bringing him back to life… ugh no. It just contradicted all of his beliefs and everything he’d been saying the past 3 books. So what, that was all bullshit? Did those endless philosophical paragraphs mean nothing? Should I just forget about all of that? Jem was content with going off to the great unknown, to the next life and yet he goes back on his beliefs. No Cassandra Clare, just no. He wouldn’t have done that. I know being that close to death would put things into perspective and change your mind but come on, it was a beautiful way to put a character to rest, especially with all that he had being saying.

And when he came back as Brother Zachariah, I hated him. He wasn’t Jem any more. He was this unemotional, cold being. Not even human, Just so unfeeling and almost zombie-like. I didn’t like it at all and she ruined his character for me. What frustrates me is that she only did it so Tessa could have someone to be with for another few decades. Seriously pissed me off.

On Passion & Performing

I love seeing people getting really passionate about what they’re doing. There’s nothing better than seeing someone getting really into something an lose themselves. You can tell they love what they’re doing.

Firstly, a guy I find who’s really passionate about his work is the movie critic Mark Kermode. Apart from being a movie genius and wonderful critic, he has linguistic charm. He can cut deep down into a film and see its layers for what it is. He has an expansive knowledge of cinema. He also tells it how it is. He’s unafraid yet he knows when to give credit to honourable and ambitious films where it’s due. What I love though is when he gets really animated when he’s talking and he uses his hands. It shows true passion. Great insights and diction; enjoyable just to listen to him.

A singer who I love listening to and who really gets into her performances is Kimbra. She’s a great singer in the studio but her live performances really are something else. Look up any of her live performances and you’ll be blown away. You can watch one of my favourites below of Plain Gold Ring which is like from 2010. I love how she throws her voice around live but again what gets me is her hands. She dances and grasps the air as if the music and the beat were somehow physically tangible and she can feel it. She moves through the music and lives in it for that 4 and a half minutes. She’s a performer who’s in the music. She just lets go towards the end. Brilliant.

Another musician/ singer who is really cool to watch is Martin Doherty of the Scottish electronic band “CHVRCHES.” He’s pretty animated when he plays synths but he’s the singer for like one song I think: “Under The Tide.” I love how he dances, as if he’s in his bedroom alone. He goes mental at the chorus. It’s brilliant and we should all dance as if no one’s watching. :) Also his Scottish accent is charming as fuck!

I also love how Florence Welch performs (of “Florence + The Machine”). She’s a Goddess. Her stage presence is amazing and she’s such a free spirit. I remember she said something in an interview that I always try to remember:

“What I really like seeing from the stage is people having their own moments, when people are doing some performance of their own.”

I like the idea of just doing your own dance and having your own moment and not caring about what’s going on around you. You could also extend that to real life: do your own thing and not care about what others are doing.

Another good performer I like is Lorde. The way she dances is so authentic and erratic.

I also like how Charli XCX dances during the first 20 seconds of “What I Like.”

On Fairy Curses

I know this might sound like blind superstition but fairy curses are real. There’s been so much folklore to prove it and we should take advice and wisdom from these stories. I’m writing this to provide my own experiences with the curses and warn others.

I’ve always been interested in folklore and fairies as they are quite a Gaelic creature. I found them enchanting with their association with forests. I feel though they deserve our respect. I learned that a few years ago when some strange events started occurring. (This seriously happened, I’m not joking).

Ok so a few years ago I started researching fairies just to get some further knowledge in that area. I was curious about their culture and what they liked/disliked. Nothing wrong with that since the information is there to be read. What I found was cold iron can burn a fairy’s skin so obviously they don’t like it. I don’t think they will be angered that I told you that since it’s common knowledge in folk tales. So then I began thinking about fairy anatomy and coming up with my own theories. I came up with something really important that turned out to be true considering the events that followed. I can’t tell you what I figured out because the consequences of me telling someone would be twice as bad as me figuring out the secret. Sorry. :/

I can tell you though about the events which ensued following my discovery. So once I had written down my theory which turned out to be a discovery, weird things started happening. I began to see these things out of the corner of my eye. If you can imagine a fly flying around and you see it in your peripheral vision. That’s what it was like, except every time I turned to see what it was it had disappeared. And they weren’t flies because how could flies just disappear. And this happened for months on end. I began to get seriously paranoid and frustrated. But that’s what the fairies wanted. It was a warning for me not to tell anyone about the discovery I had made. It gets even weirder. One morning a woke up and went to the bathroom and found these thin scratches on my neck. I know what you’re thinking, it was probably my nails. But these were way too thin to be my hand scratching my neck in my sleep. This was the work of pixies scratching me with their tiny spears. This happened again on 3 or 4 separate occasions. It turns out they sent the pixies to torment me for finding out about a secret. I saw one once on my bed for like a split second before it disappeared. They’re tiny creatures with little feral faces. I quickly learned to take the warning and not tell anyone about the secret. I also stopped researching and the pixies left me alone. Sometimes they return every now and again whenever I go back and look at the notes I’ve written down. I can’t tell anyone what I’ve found not only because my curse will be doubled but also because it will be cast upon the person I’ve told.

So that’s my tale. Take it as a warning. Their are other obvious things you should avoid like cutting down a fairy fort or mound. Also you shouldn’t cut down a Hawthorn Tree.

In Ireland, I feel we do have an ingrained respect and understanding of fairies in our culture. But sometimes people don’t respect nature and things go awry when. Here is an article about events occurring after the M3 motorway was built on the grounds of a fairy fort. You have to admit it’s more than just coincidence.