All I know is a door into the dark.
The other evening I was listening to a podcast from RTÉ.ie (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) which reminded me of Brigit, and thus of you. She was not mentioned, but one of her areas of expertise was the basis of the story: smithcraft.
The Door Into the Dark, a fifteen minute excerpt from a longer documentary by MaryAnn Vaughan, shares the memories of Pat Vaughn, Co. Waterford, of his father's forge, which closed in 1992. I enjoyed it so much I put images to it and saved it as a video to share with you all. If you like it, you might check out some of the many other shows at Documentary on One:
'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story.'
A hand or a foot pedal – I don’t remember.
But that blowing and blazing of fire!
And a piece of iron in the fire, held there by tongs,
Red, softened, ready for the anvil,
Beaten with a hammer, bent into a horseshoe,
Thrown in a bucket of water, sizzle, steam.
And horses hitched to be shod,
Tossing their manes; and in the grass by the river
Plowshares, sledge runners, harrows waiting for repair.
At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor,
Here, gusts of heat; at my back, white clouds,
I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this:
To glorify things just because they are.
For those who want more, there is a truncated but interesting documentary on the Tradition of Blacksmithing in Ireland at Audioboo. (The intact portion is 86 year old Eamon Madden, master blacksmith from Athenry, interviewed by Ella McSweeney.)