‘Fanore’ is a very real place but this is no guide book for visitors. It is the first Novella of my ‘Thin Places’ Series.
Thin Places exist primarily in wilderness areas. Through them, we can paradoxically gauge our significance to this reality by the extent of our insignificance inside it.
If we yield and become one with them, we can expect insights into moments beyond the present that may yet form parts of tomorrow or that are already history.
That version of tomorrow may be altered simply by our unscheduled intrusion. There are also reported insights and occasional interactions in times supposedly long past. Time is apparently in flux inside them.
Our sixth sense is not a constant. It waxes and wanes in response to some metaphysical almanac that we’ve yet to understand. ‘Thin Places’ are probably where the metaphysical world most strongly interacts with the physicality that we are conditioned to accept as the only fact of life. However, philosophers throughout the ages tell us of the essential duality in, or the Yin and Yang aspect to everything.
So it’s only logical to assume that physicality must also have its opposite or metaphysical reality. Both of them together form what is essentially an extended reality, which can neither be all of one or the other. ‘Thin Places’ are where each state mixes like fluid with the other producing phenomena that don’t conform with what we would normally expect of a purely physical world.
The suggestion is that the membrane which surrounds our physical reality from other concurrent realities, is stretched thin in these places and hence the name. I personally believe that our dual reality is what is contained inside against the vastness of infinity outside. I say that because logically, infinity can be the only source of all possibilities. Thin places therefore, would be where these possibilities come but also where they go when they haven’t been fully realised.
This novella takes a look at what might be going on to make this particular ‘Thin Places’ so apparently thin. The Wild Atlantic Way along Ireland’s West Coast seems to have quite a few of these ‘Portals’ and that is why I chose to start in Fanore, which is pretty much right in the middle. Each story will be as unique as the place it is set. Instead of chapters, I play with ‘Acts’ in this first book to present it like a small play. The purpose of this is to immerse the reader as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. The reader should then succumb to suggestion just as the observer succumbs to the power of the ‘Thin Place’ ambience.
The events of Fanore take place within a small area of North County Clare, but time seems to be what makes this particular location so thin, so you may have to establish that aspect for yourself. Fanore is part of the Burren area of County Clare and whereas I do appreciate that not all thin places are Irish, I can only write about what i know.
I hope you enjoy it enough to revisit my Blog/Site/Facebook Page to follow my progress and hopefully to look at my other, much bigger books that will take you so much further away from your daily cares.
Please oblige with feedback and I will be guided by your comments as I decide which turn to take on my own particular road. More Mega Books on Science Fiction / Fantasy / Normal sized books on Spirituality / or this quirky cocktail of Fact, Fiction and Fantasy.
Erris is also a very real place. It is a ruggedly remote, but beautiful corner of Northwest County Mayo in Ireland. It was given that name by the first settlers when they discovered they had reached the edge of the world and could venture no further west.
‘Westernmost Reach’ is precisely how the name translates from the old Gaelic and the latest visitors now come in hundreds of thousands to be immersed in its pristine timelessness.
However, Erris is also a very ‘Thin Place’, so called by the ancient orders of Celts who found that people and ‘things’ could sometimes disappear inside them. The explanation offered is that the boundary between our physical reality and the metaphysical reality that flows constantly alongside us can sometimes become porous and fracture.
There are as many reasons for this particular phenomena as there are rainy days in Erris but top of the list are reverberations from unseen/undocumented histories.
We tend to assume that someone must have always survived history to write it all down for us to study later, yet we know this can’t always have been the case. We don’t know much of what happened in Erris beyond a certain date. However, histories that weren’t documented still happened. It’s just that they were etched into time rather than rock or papyrus.
In places where realities are occasionally in flux, we should never assume that our four dimensional version of it is a constant default. What that means is that we need to be careful regarding just how immersed we want to really get in a ‘Thin Place’.
When one rather naive young man responds to that apparently placid prompt to soak in its timeless ambiance, he gets immersed in more than just the cold water. He is plunged into a life or death struggle that may not have ended well for him.
Watch his space because this is the Fantasy Story that seeded the Later SF Novel, ‘The Erris Starship’. It would be misleading to suggest that Erris, the novella is a prequel to ‘The Erris Starship’ novel but without one, the other wouldn’t exist. So, it’s likely that you’ll be hearing more about this book as the significance of ‘The Erris Starship’ begins to dawn.
In the Blasket novella, the lines separating fact from fiction and fantasy are undetectable. This produces a believably authentic story that is guaranteed to take you almost as far away from your cares as it did Jack Sullivan.
You see, Blasket promised Jack such an unbelievably warm welcome in the form of the ‘Cead Mile Failte’ or a hundred thousand welcomes, that he was compelled to fly in from Portland, Maine to Kerry, Ireland so he could bask in it. What he didn’t know however, was that he was subliminally duped.
He had no idea that Blasket is just one of many ‘Thin Places’, so called by ancient orders of Celts for their intrinsic connection to converging inter-dimensional fault lines. These porous membranes are what separate reality from the alternate, metaphysical realities that run parallel to the one in which most of us live.
Jack has a shrewd business brain that helped him to make a very comfortable living from commercial fishing. This was achieved in times tough enough to drive many of his peers into bankruptcy and worse, but there was a price for that success. There always is.
He knows that he has a bloodline in Kerry, and Blasket knows only too well where it was spilled. Both are intent on reuniting him with his past but with motivations that are literal worlds apart.
Jack Sullivan is about to embark on an impossible journey while Blasket does what Blasket was always destined to do, which is to tell its story for others to narrate and pass down through the ages.
It transpires that Blasket has a rather surreal way of revealing its memoirs, but that is not to say this account is not very real indeed. I invite the truth to shine through a darkness that has been permitted to prevail for far too long. Not for any notion of retribution, but to close a disturbing chapter of shared history so people and spectres can move on together.
Peregrinatio pro Dei amore or pilgrimage for the love of god, was what compelled the first Christian Monks to establish monasteries in the austere isolation of places like Skellig Michael. Far from the madding crowds, artificial diversions from divine devotions would always be few and far between, but that doesn’t make the practise a purely Christian one.
Temples, Synagogues and Mosques were also built for peaceful meditation.
What that means is that spiritual contemplation is not the sole preserve of any religion. In this excessively clamorous age, there are probably as many self declared atheists as there are Star Wars nerds for whom Skellig has become Mecca. These unlikely pilgrims travel alongside clerics who come to re-pray from the highest altars and so re-charge the Force within each of them, in their own inimitable ways.
It can be implied from the foregoing, that it’s the human spirit that is drawn to Skellig, rather than some dogmatic directive penned by priests. And since Skellig predates all religions, we can safely assume that it was also something of a spiritual magnet to Pre-Christian pagans. These were the architects of many cosmically aligned wonders of the ancient world, like Newgrange and Stonehenge.
Back then, they recognised Skellig as an extremely ‘Thin Place’ where the membrane holding the physical world aloof from other realities, can be stretched close to breaking point. It is a place so ‘thin’ that people and ‘things’ can sometimes pass from one reality into another, to subsequently disappear or arrive as appropriate.
We would probably know more about this paranormal activity but for the fact that documenting history came late to Ireland. That’s because the first alphabet (Ogham) was derived from objects once considered sacred, like trees. This made the language too cumbersome for facts, figures and dates, which were passed down orally instead. You will however, find some intriguing suggestions to explain the Celtic enigma of ‘Thin Places’.
In this particular encounter, a Jesuit Brother named Charles Iwutchukwu was more familiar with the documented religious records of Skellig, rather than its purely pagan but also spiritual prehistory. Charles was both carer and counsellor to members of the Jesuit order suffering psychological disorders. He chose to bring his spiritually battered patient to Skellig when modern medical options failed to deliver the required results.
The Jesuit order was purposely designed with a military command structure and Charles was ranked somewhere below the officer equivalent of his patient. Nevertheless, Reverend Father Ignatius Moloney was duly delivered to Skellig for some potent spiritual exposure. But since spirituality is not a solely religious consideration, Skellig simply accommodated the new inpatient for as long as he required treatment, which turned out to be considerably longer than Brother Charles had anticipated.
Once caught up in alternate realities travelling at their own versions of time parallel to ours, Ignatius was introduced to some rather exotic visitors. Most of these were also seeking sanctuary from what their particular realities were throwing at them. All of which points to places like Skellig having some higher purpose but if so, what is the driving force behind it?
Skellig is Book 4 and the last of the current ’Thin Places’ Series of novellas. Technically however, it’s a tad too big to be a novella but only because the story simply refused to be cropped. That’s good news for you however, because the price of a download is the same as that applied to my other novellas.
Each ‘Thin Places’ novella is unique and they are only related by genre, so it doesn’t matter which one you read first or last. That said, Fanore is still a free download, so why not grab your free copy of that book now. Just click the cover above.