So. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. Just not the blog. Not forgotten, but resting until the book was published. A Legacy of Wisdom: The Genius, Power, and Possibility of Ireland’s Indigenous Spiritual Heritage. A long sub-title although it really says it all. Some have suggested after that sub-title the book is superfluous.
So now in Ireland with the book – or rather several copies of the book. Something of a soft book launch as it turns out. Soft is the operative word. I have copies for the many folks here who gifted me some of the stories I included in the book. Many are Catholic. And frankly the Catholics don’t do well in the book. Better than the English by a long shot. But not well. And there is a delicate dance to be done in sharing the book with these folks.
Our B&B hostess in Spiddal had asked to see a copy and ironically when I ventured into the kitchen to find her I discovered she was at Mass. Hmmm. However what an amazing conversation we had when she returned and wandered down to our room. Our room with this view of her back garden and Galway Bay.
As Vera turned the pages I gave her a brief overview of some of the book, trying to touch on the more aspirational aspects of the writing. Yet she turned immediately to the part on Catholics and now we were talking about the conflict of being Catholic in a country where the Church inflicted so many abuses. Abuses that are kept very alive and present with the recent finding of so many baby bodies discovered in a septic tank. She talked about how these things of the past should really be left in the past. Because there is nothing we can do about it. Because the Irish need to move on.
And then came the stories of the Black & Tan troops that moved through the country side killing people for any perceived infraction or for no infraction at all. And the stories of the English stealing their land and language. And the songs of the Irish that are so filled with laments for lovers killed and lost. Yet all of those songs are really code for the loss of Ireland. Songs sung about her and for her.
In listening to Vera I began to understand that before the Irish can embrace an aspirational future they must heal their past. Their loss and agony. There is much to be healed in this land. And that will be the subject of subsequent posts.