“Since I began to
Look up at your psalm
All of the instruments
Have turned into birds……”
Dermot Healy died on June 29th 2014.
A woman call me earlier that afternoon just to talk about him.
I hadn’t seen Dermot since April. I couldn’t tell her anything. She was so distraught it was annoying, if she wanted to speak to him she should just pick up the phone.She was no stranger to him, he worked with her on a book of her poetry, he wrote a beautiful introduction for it, the book was published this year by a London press….she had his phone number. She called me instead.
I was working. Had a writing deadline of my own. Had two writing deadline on the same day. But everything was fine, everything was in hand. Fifty pages of a new novel was just about ready, a few tiny details to add or remove, the competition deadline was Monday 30th June……The second deadline was a new script development for a New York/Irish company. Same deal… tiny details to be added or removed… as a friend/editor said to me, ” Revision is a miraculous process.” And it’s true. So… Two pieces . The play was based on the first chapter of the novel. The novel begun as a collection of short stories. Dermot Healy read these stories and told me to write the book. He told me he didn’t want to see it until it was finished.
Everything was finished on Sunday night. I took a breath and check my messages. Dermot Healy had died at approximately 9pm Sunday night.
When a good writer dies……
When a good teacher dies…
When a good mentor dies….
When a good friend dies…