Where the soul can rest easy: Anam Cara offered a wonderful respite from the ongoing lunacy of life when I visited there last September 1998. There’s an atmo-sphere of serenity that takes hold of you as soon as you enter the place... a sense of peacefulness you feel as you are greeted and made feel at home. I wasn’t there long enough to get into a writing rhythm, but I know that had I stayed long enough to stop staring at the shifting colours on the mountains, I would have found plenty to move my pen.
The Beara Peninsula is one of the most stunning backdrops any writer could wish for. It’s hard to find words to describe the light, the play of cloud and shadow on the sea and hills, the sense of timelessness that infuses a very real world of contemporary concerns. Here is no stage-Irish landscape of donkeys and Barry Fitzgeralds. The people of Beara are modern, creative, artistic – proud of their heritage but ready to embrace the latest technological tools that help them forge their identity. If you spend any length of time here at all, you realise that Beara is not a remote outpost of Irish culture – it is at the heart of all that is good about ourselves and the way we express ourselves.
Anam Cara expresses that identity very well. It is both a traditional hermitage and a state of the art facility for writers and artists. I will be back, often.