"I look out of the plane, I see Ireland and I almost get tears," he says. "I feel so attached and so connected that I think it's where I belong." Does he know where this feeling comes from? "It took me a while to figure it out," he replies. "The landscape is great, but it's the people and their culture. I don't mean the high culture, I mean the culture they have passed on for a thousand years."
But he has noticed that Ireland, too, has built silences around certain topics. When he first arrived, he was eager to talk about Michael Collins, whom he sees as a great hero -"a genius, politically, doing the right thing at the right moment and changing the course of history." But he saw the shutters come down when the civil war was brought up.