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Post Info TOPIC: On the moving of rocks~Part I


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On the moving of rocks~Part I


A rock becomes a stone once it is moved and placed, thus, Ireland is a rock of many stones: a rock of ages. And, like an eternal chess match, most every rock in Ireland has been moved by some human hand and divine intervention, advantage and disadvantage. Be it a place as old as Knowth and Newgrange in the Boyne Valley, as mournful at the famine fences of the West or as new as the McMansions that follow the coast from Clare to Kinsale, today in Ireland, few stones go unturned. Thankfully, some rocks still remain for discovery, patiently awaiting for that very moment when providence calls.

So it was with our experience there from April 27-May12 and I will try and take some time to recount and retrace this journey. It is only now that I am finally returning, having just unpacked and collected some thoughts of what we experienced, from the scattering of our dearly departed Uncle Tom's ashes at Roscommon Abbey to fishing the River Nore and horseback riding at Mt. Juliet near Kilkenny.

We sincerely thank Michele for placing us in the warm homes and capable, caring hands of Margaret Walsh in Salthill, Co. Galway and Mary Browne in Bunratty for our final night's stay. In the spirit of Irish hospitality, we passed along our copy of her book to a couple at Bunratty Lodge. As they thumbed through it excitedly over breakfast, the light and adventure kindled in their eyes and voices again confirmed the magic and the value of Michele's guide. Alas, by the time we again return to Ireland, we will be in need of a newer edition, guiding us to those many rocks we have yet to upturn and discover.

Once you visit Ireland, should a part of the land and its people find their way into your heart, they will take up residence and resonate, ebbing and flowing like a coastal stream: and like the salmon, you will someday find your way back home.



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               Amen !


Bob

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RE: On the moving of rocks~Waking Uncle Tom


"On Pembroke Road, look out for my ghost
Disheveled with shoes untied
Playing through the railings with little children
Whose children have long since died."

                                            "If ever you go to Dublin town" Patrick Kavanaugh

We were relative-strangers converging on the very land where our grandmother had turned her back to the wind and the hunger a century before. We find ourselves in Roscommon Abbey, seeking sacred space where graves and ghosts glisten, listening as the breath of the angels carry up the last cremains of our departed. In a Druid's doorway we stand, souls ready to let go of our dear uncle, who is now already far ahead of us on his journey home.
There was no consolation, no void to fill; complete had been our labor of love, and we took comfort and communion in Gleeson's Pub and in the hearts and laughter of each other. We, the living, continue down the road of uncertainty into the now-setting sun, dusk and dust both rising round us as we depart. And in the distance, lie the Celtic Crosses of Clonmacnoise and a space that awaits us all "just a wee bit" down the road. 
Below are the passages from the Torah and New Testament, delivered as we scattered our Uncle Tom's cremains. One speaks of the promise we hold to our ancestors and the other of the uncertainty of life, no matter how carefully we chart and navigate the path of our earthly journey.

Slainte,
jb
  Genesis 50:22 
 So now do not fear. I will sustain you and your small children." And he comforted them and spoke to their hearts.
 So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's household, and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years.
 Joseph saw children of a third generation born to Ephraim; also the sons of Marcher the son of Manasseh were born on Joseph's knees.
 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am going to die; God will surely remember you and take you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."
 And Joseph adjured the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely remember you, and you shall take up my bones out of here."
The Book of Acts 27:39
 In the morning they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned to run the ship ashore, if they could. So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At the same time they loosened the ropes that tied the steering-oars; then hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach.
But  striking a reef, they ran the ship aground; the bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves.


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RE: On the moving of rocks~Part I


Jb,

Thank you for taking us on such a lyrical journey of your trip. Roscommon Abbey is one of my favorite places. I visit there every time I am in Co. Roscommon. Gleeson's Townhouse is my home away from home or maybe it is my true home. I will think of you and send up a prayer for your Uncle Tom the next time I am there.

I look forward to more pleasant reading as your journey further unfolds.

Slan Beo,

Bit

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JB,

What a wonderful, poetic posting. May your Uncle Tom rest in peace in green Erin among the stones, ancestors and those that come after him. Bob's posting said it all!

Michele

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RE: On the moving of rocks~Part 2


The weather reports looked hostile at best and we packed for an assult on Everest. I should have trusted my Irish luck over the nay-saying Yahoo; in the past, good weather and fine food have continued to come my way when I travel. Guess God takes pitty on the poor, cold and hungry, although the ghosts of many Irish would argue that point.

We rolled up the road from Shannon remembering to keep my lance in my right arm and pointed towards the oncoming traffic. I had to get medieval to drive there again as the roads and signage had not improved in 7 years; they only increased in number. We found our way into Ennis and decided to stop for lunch. Is there anything more perfect than an Irish butcher shop? (vegans need not answer) We were directed to two places up the street, neither of which name I could quite understand as my Irish ear had yet to be tuned to the sounds of a real brogue. Seeking confirmation in a bakery proved more futile...the woman behind the counter stood dead cold silent and would not commit to our directions. Finally, a patron pointed across the street and recommended the food highly. It was cafeteria style and quite good with the fish chowder, brown bread and Guinness showing up like long, lost friends.

The sun was bright as we came upon the Cliffs of Moher. I find stopping at this place to be  a ritualistic necessity, as if we needed proof that we were finally in Ireland. After all, the 40+ shades of green we viewed from the plane window may have been an apparition. From any angle, these cliffs are magnificent and the new restaurant and visitor center, built right into the hillsde, were non-obtrussive and fascinating. You must go inside, if only to wash you hands, since the fixtures are state-of-the-art design.

We walked slowly towards O"Brien Tower taking photos and swapping cameras with other visitors for group shots. Concrete had replaced the grass border of the tower and paved over was the plug of turf I had planted 7 years ago, taken from my father's gravesite in San Francisco. Yes, much had been built and paved over since my last visit, but the cliffs stood firm, jutting out into the Atlantic challenging anyone and any force, save the wind and water, to strike the first blow. Their timeless resilience is reason enough to come to Ireland and to celebrate a sense of both pride and humility in the sun, if but for only an instant in time. They are not unlike the Irish themsevles.

Now on to Galway,
jb

-- Edited by cryogenine at 13:42, 2007-05-30

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On the moving of rocks~Part I


JB,

Wonderful stuff. Keep it coming!

Michele

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Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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cryogenine wrote:

 

from the scattering of our dearly departed Uncle Tom's ashes at Roscommon Abbey 

 




Hello, I have been looking everywhere on several webpages on how to go about bringing my mother's ashes to Ireland.  I've emailed the Irish Embassy, to no avail.  I've looked at the TSA website.  Looked at the Dublin Airport site.  Nothing. 

How did you get your Uncle's ashes to Ireland?  Packed in your check-in?  Did you have to fill out any paperwork to prove that it was human remains?  I just don't want to pack them only to find out I needed special forms.

Thank you ahead of time for your answers.

 



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Let's just say I didn't ask for anyone's permission save God's.
Amazing how they looked just like a cosmetic abrassive for caloused feet.

Do what you need to do to feed your soul,
jb

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