Day 6 -- Saturday, May 21
I started the day with a run with Carrie, then on to a nice lecture by Niamh about Yeats and the impossibilities of giving voice to the Irish condition through the Gaelic language. It is strangely ironic that the only way that the passion and mythology of the Irish people could be told was through the language of their conquerors and that the Catholic story was written with a Protestant pen..... It reminds me of my Penn State Cultural Ecology course when one of the Anthro grad students drew the lecture off topic with his fascination of emic vs. etic perspectives. Sometimes the outside voice is the strongest support for the inside knowledge.
Our first stop was Creevykeel, an ancient megalithic site that demonstrates so strongly the continual nature of human change. The original site (or at least what we consider original, it could be much older than we even know) is many (5-6) thousand years old and once held 3 tombs. It was reconstructed in the late 1930s but before that was subject to many changes as different cultures inhabited the landscape, each with their own needs and wants. There is evidence of a post-Christian kiln and smelting area, built from the original tomb, and it looks very likely that the farm wall that keeps cattle from grazing the site was also built from the stones left there by the ancients. We move and change and that which is sacred to one generation may become simply utilitarian over time......
The Celtic crosses and most of the tombstones seem to be sourced from local stone
And, finally, to Glencar waterfall: a cascade that pours down from Benbulben Mountain. The area is beautiful with the crazy flat-topped, glacially-formed mountain providing a green backdrop to everything else. It was great to be there in the Spring when the flowers were in bloom. The rhodedendron are beautiful, but I am finding myself infatuated with the wild garlic. No wonder that Yates wrote of fairies near these falls.
I am Mela, Pam, or Pamela. My first experience in Ireland was in 1990 when my best friend, Shannon, and I biked the island. I am very happy to have the opportunity to share this special island with students from my own special islands.
Me, in South Korea, visiting the statue of my zodiac sign -- can you guess what year I am?