Friday, December 25, 2009

O Holy Night by Eve Brown-Waite

My friend, Eve Brown-Waite is a talented writer, with a sweet heart, and terrific sense of humor. I wanted to pass on the link to a post from Eve's blog. It's about a special experience, shared with her daughter, that doesn't come very often, but when it does, it lifts your heart and spirits. Here's the link Eve Brown-Waite.
Her book about being in the Peace Corps is also a great read.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Newgrange radio spot

The Irish radio station, RTE1 has a segment written by a tour guide at Newgrange that says just what I wish I could have said about Newgrange. The segment starts at about 48 minutes into it, and you can fast forward to that if you don't have time to listen to the whole thing. The writer, Vonna Groake, is a tour guide and really captures the magic and mystery of the place, and the people who built it.
Go to the site, and click on latest show. If you're reading this after Dec. 26th, you'll need to find the show from Dec. 20th. Here's the link: Newgrange by Vonna Groake.
With the solstice being just passed, it's a perfect way to celebrate that we are going into the light!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Touching 5000 years of life

I visited Bru na Boinne in County Meath, Ireland on Friday. It is the site of several Neolithic tombs, and I was able to go into Newgrange with a tour. It is the best known Irish passage tomb. Archeologists have dated it from 3,000 BC. Older than the pyramids and Stonehenge. It was designed so that on the Winter Solstice, the sun would come in through a small window box over the entry, down a long, very narrow passage way, and shine onto a Basin stone. The stone held the remains of people, and it is believed that they were the most revered in their community.
The stones have designs carved into them that have influenced art - for 5000 years. No one knows what the marks mean, but they are also found in other communities across Spain and Portugal.

Standing in the interior space of Newgrange, seeing the markings, the amazing corbeled central ceiling, and knowing that it was designed to have the sun line up perfectly for a few days of the year was very moving. I put my palms on many of the stones, and felt the same stones that people moved, 5,000 years ago, and touched by many since then. I thought of the desire we all have to be remembered in some way - by creating art, writing, changing society, or even through everyday kindnesses. The people who built this tomb had the same desire to create, to find meaning in their lives, a connection to the greater world through the path of the sun and seasons.

The urge to leave something of ourselves, to find meaning in our lives and world, is a difficult urge to satisfy. It was a powerful experience to be in the same room as 5,000 years of humanity.