January 5, 2021
And felt the hillside thronged by souls unseen,
Who knew the interest in me, and were keen
That man alive should understand man dead.
And what I am saying is this: this earth belongs partially to the dead, not to us. We are facing circumstances so complex we simply do not have the chops to fix them ourselves. That’s vanity. When we pay attention to what came before us, ghosts become ancestors, and we have something to work with. Martin Shaw
Martin Shaw is a captivating story teller. One of the best. I had the extraordinary opportunity to hear his stories in person at Thoor Ballylee, the ancient tower where W.B. Yeats lived and wrote for nine years. The tower is just a few minutes from our cottage in Ireland and not far from Coole Park where Yeats often stayed with Augusta Gregory.
From the stories I’ve heard him tell, you can follow him online, he doesn’t often get pointedly political as in this recent post on FB. But I think it’s time for all storytellers and bards and poets to speak out about the vital importance of ancestor connections and ancestral wisdom.
I work a lot with the ancestors now. Both here and in Ireland. Yes, there is something mystically romantic in all this but it’s far beyond some whimsical spiritual adventure. Current circumstances are both complex and critically urgent. And it seems we don’t have the chops to fix them. We need all the help and guidance we can muster. And those who have gone before us, those who are anxious to share the wisdom of past times, are available to us and for us.
The ancestors are here for us through direct connection. They are here for us through the stories that have been told around ancient fires and passed down through the ages. We ignore their counsel and their stories at our great peril.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org