“I definitely do have a kind of golden thread linking me to Ireland…”
Continuity. That’s the key to my interview with Jess Moriarty.
Whether it’s as an academic and tutor, engaging with her MA students on the value of their ethnic, familial and lived histories to inform their fictions. Or whether it’s having her grandmother reflected in her daughter – her “two witches” – it appears that Jess sees herself within an ongoing tradition, part of the warp and weft of the diaspora.
A twirl in the golden thread.
Of course, she’s much more than that. She’s funny, vibrant and outspoken, although such praise would probably embarrass her (which is a good job nobody really reads these blog posts). Her decision to have her children continue the Moriarty name is symptomatic of a respect for tradition but not for its own sake. A willingness to turn things around and create new patterns but not simply for the thrill of novelty.
Like all of my interviewees she has strongly-held views and is happy to share them. Equally like all my interviewees she’s aware that change is constantly afoot: that certainties, even the ones she holds, are ever vulnerable to becoming redundant in a moment.
Even golden threads unravel.
And yet that continuity remains, because despite progress and diversion, despite revolution, we still hold our ethnic, familial and lived histories close to us. They are things that have made us what we are and will help guide us wherever we are going. Jess, her grandmother and her daughter are all part of that.
Because it’s not just spells that witches weave.