Would feminists be insulted by describing beautiful women in an ancient Hindu frieze , as deep breasted, narrow waisted and sumptuously haunched? I hope not, I love the description and so did Brian RIP, who told me about these lustrous Indian creatures. Never lecherous, he was an absolute and utter gent, gentle in the extreme if that’s possible. Women loved him for his charm, his wit and good looks, men too for his robust sense of humor, his congeniality and always, always with a smile, a story or a joke. Eighty something when he died yesterday, a vibrant man right up to the hospice, prone to press-ups between bar stools and other juvenile demonstrations of vitality. If you turn up the handles on your racer, so that you’re not hunched over like Stephan Roche, more sat up like a toddler on a trike, well then you have a good picture of him zig zagging in and out of peak time traffic in Limerick, oblivious to the insanity around him.
An out and out nihilistic engineer and a “good” Roman Catholic, hardly a match made in Heaven. Always the rational, the logic, and the sticking of intelligent fingers in wounds, yet he came from a rural place where church was strong, but like the astute politican, he walked a fine line of strong faith tempered with filthy ambivalence.
Richard Burton in a New York bar sometime in the 60s, bitter rotten cynically drunk. 3 rd Generation loud American Women of Irish origin approaches uninvited, overcome with martini glee,
Richard, Richard, shouldn’t we selts stick together when far from home
But of course Madame, and sunts as well.
Or words to that effect, told on an evening discussing the big bang, light years, galaxy and universe, when my own father told me quietly, when the others had gone out for a gasper, of wanting to travel even faster then light, to see his own father’s face again.
There’s a programme on RTE 1 occasionally, called Hands or something like that, about trades and crafts dying. Great programme about bookbinding and saddle making. You might have seen the advertising logo, featuring a pair of battered, beautiful and arthritic hands; well these were Brain’s fiddle-shaping hands. Rest in peace Brian, but not too peacefully, remember the sumptuously haunched.