I have finished Dara McAnulty’s book this week. There is so much to it. Is it about our relationship with nature, our destruction of the natural environment, autism, growing up, families, the education system? Well of course it is about all of these things, because Dara is, or is experiencing, all of these things. We aren’t defined by one facet of our personality or one of our passions. We are a complex mix of feelings, experiences, relationships and beliefs and so is Dara’s book.
In a way I am sad to be leaving his story behind but that is how it should be. He has given something to the world in his words and I am sure he will give more in the future, but he also needs space to live and to grow, as we all do. Just because he has put into words something important about the way that we all live we do not own him, his journey or his voice. It is noticeable as he moves to the conclusions of his book that he has begun to understand that too and that is important, as others will undoubtedly try to claim, tame or defame him.
It has been a privilege to share some of his journey through his insightful, mature and poetic journal and I wish him well with the rest of it. I will post a full review of the book which Little Toller kindly sent me an uncorrected proof copy of in due course. Now though, it is time to respond.