Erin Go Bragh!

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My grandfather was 100% Irish; his name was Leo.  Behind his back they called him Leo the Lion. It was not a compliment.   And I actually had an “Uncle Patty”.

But, alas, only one-fourth of my earthly being is Irish.   Would that it were more…

 

Some quotes about being Irish…

‘The heart of an Irishman is nothing but his imagination.’
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

‘I am Irish by race…
but the English have condemned me to talk the language of Shakespeare.’
OSCAR WILDE

‘Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.’
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

‘This [The Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.’
SIGMUND FREUD

“Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it.”
POPE JOHN PAUL II

‘We have a tradition of passing our history orally and singing a lot of it and writing songs about it and there’s kind of a calling in Irish voices when they’re singing in their Irish accent.’
SINEAD O’CONNOR

“Being Irish, I always had this love of words.”
KENNETH BRANAGH

“It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked looking-glass of a servant.”
JAMES JOYCE

“The tune was sad, as the best of Ireland was, melancholy and lovely as a lover’s tears.”
NORA ROBERTS

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
ADREINNE COOK

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Some notes about my family name

The Irish name “Fahey” has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit.  
Numerous spelling variations of the surname “Fahey” are preserved in the old documents. The various spelling of the name that were found include Fahey, Fahie, Fahy, Fay, O’Fahey, O’Fay, Vahey, and many more.

The original Gaelic form of the name Fahey is O Fathaigh, derived from the word “fothadh”, meaning “foundation”, a cognate of “fothaigh” meaning to “support or sustain”.

First found in Galway, part of the province Connacht, located on the west coast of the island, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

The name is numerous in the area of Tipperary in the 17th – 19th centuries. The 1890 birth index finds the family in counties Galway, Tipperary and Mayo, with Fahy as the preferred spelling,

A sept of the Uí Maine,  (Uí Maine, often Anglicised as Hy Many, was one of the oldest and largest kingdoms located in Connacht, Ireland)  the centre of their patrimony, which they held as proprietors up to the time of the Cromwellian upheaval in the mid-seventeenth century and where most of them still dwell, is Loughrea in the south of the county: their territory was known as Pobal Mhuintir Uí Fhathaigh, i.e. the country inhabited by the Fahys. There is a place the modern name of which is Fahysvillage.

The O Fahy castle was known as Dunally and was located in the parish of Kilthomas. Nothing remains of it today – however the townland in which it was located is still known as Doonally.

Heraldry

O’Fahy or O’Fay (A Sept of the race of O’Conor, King of Connaught) Arms: Azure field,  a hand couped at the wrist fessways in chief proper holding a sword paleways, Argent pommel and hilt point downwards pierced through a boar’s head erased of the last.

My ancestors immigrated to America from County Mayo.

 

Waxing and Waning

Reblogging this in honor of yesterday’s Eclipse…

Ethereal Nature

New moon

Emerging from their covert coupling
in the clear blue sky
The Moon,
only after her lover has left,
begins to show her face.

That silver arc, the bow of Artemis,
drawn, taut-passioned
flings stolen arrows of Eros,
like blowing kisses
to her departing lover.
Sorrow sweet and sublime

Each day their circuits
take them further and further
from their lovers’ sides.
Until from opposite ends of the earth
they stare back at each other
across the vacuum of space.

Then their tides turn,
And Nearer and nearer,
their circuits bring them.
Attentive to her lover,
the moon again turns her face
away from the earth.

Once more, her bow is drawn
taut-passioned
enticing her approaching lover
with gleaming arrows
and far-flung kisses.
Yearning sweet and sublime.

Then, lost in the light of day
they mount the sky together
ride in ecstasy its length
with never a hint to the earth,
unless…

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Environmental Organism

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A hair band transected by a bobby pin.

Who knows how it came to be here, lying innocently upon the sidewalk.  A pleasing scenario that comes to mind: perhaps a blustery wind, wanting to set free a young woman’s hair, saw fit to loosen the shackles from her tresses with a well placed gust.   And she, hair blowing wild, felt more intimately her connection to the forces of nature, and, like a veil had been lifted, felt her participation in the life of the Earth.

However it happened, the sight of its perfect configuration did immediately jar my mind loose, and remind me of my connection to the natural world, and my participation in the life of the Earth, by conjuring up the all but forgotten Ecology Symbol that was so ubiquitous during my young adulthood in the 1970s.

After my encounter with this serendipitous symbol, I spent the rest of my morning walk contemplating various effects of global warming, including the strongest ever El Nino and its effects across the globe (while taking note of the very unseasonably warm weather we’re having in Minneapolis, that everyone is so blithely enjoying) and contemplating our participation in healing the Earth.

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I had not known of the symbol’s origin until I looked it up after my walk:

The ecology symbol was formed by taking the letters “e” and “o”, the first letters in the words “environment” and “organism”, and putting them in superposition, thereby forming a shape reminiscent of the Greek letter Θ (Theta). The symbol was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb, which he published on November 7, 1969, in the Los Angeles Free Press and then placed it in the public domain.  The colors represent “pure air and green land” and environmental action.

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Look magazine incorporated the symbol into an image of a flag in their April 21, 1970 issue. It widely popularized the Theta symbol, which is associated with the Greek word thanatos (death) in light of human threats to the environment and atmosphere of the earth.  

 

As it turns out, the Theta symbol is also used in various sciences to denote temperature; which forms an interesting connection to my contemplations about global warming and our connection to the Earth.  Theta is used to represent:

The potential temperature in meteorology.

Quantity or temperature, by International System of Units standard.

Dimensionless temperature in transport phenomena. In engineering, physics and chemistry, the study of transport phenomena concerns the exchange of mass, energy, and momentum between observed and studied systems.

 

As it turns out, the Theta symbol is also used to in the trading of stock options to denote the risk that time imposes upon options not exercised; which forms an interesting connection to my contemplations about global warming and our connection to the Earth.  Theta is used to represent:

The measure of the rate of decline in the value of an option due to the passage of time. Theta can also be referred to as the time decay on the value of an option. 

The measure of theta quantifies the risk that time imposes on options as options are only exercisable for a certain period of time.

 

As it turns out, the Theta symbol is also used in the study of brain waves to denote the deepest state of meditation; which forms an interesting connection to my contemplations about global warming and our connection to the Earth.  Theta is used to represent:

….a state of very deep relaxation. The brain waves are slowed down at a frequency of 4-7 cycles per second.

While in the Theta state, the mind is capable of deep and profound learning, healing, and growth – it is the brainwave where our minds can connect to the Divine and manifest changes in the material world.

The use of the drum by indigenous cultures in ritual and ceremony has specific neurophysiological effects and the ability to elicit temporary changes in brain wave activity, producing Theta waves, and thereby facilitating imagery and possible entry into an altered state of consciousness, especially what is called the shamanic state of consciousness.

 

To be continued…

Sunrise at 15 Degrees Below Zero

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The heart of the Sun beats as ardently as ever
though the Earth plays the coy coquette
averting her face from the intensity
of his smoldering gaze
lingering for months in a sidelong glance
as she slowly turns in her measured pace
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and we
perched upon her cold shoulder
of 45 degrees north
a halfway house of latitude
midway between equator and northern pole
the temperate zone, presumably
despite our intemperate extremes
alternating torrid and frigid
the tropics and the arctic
visit us in their seasons
but never, it seems, together
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the arctic now pays its respects
cold rushes in from northern reaches
storied land of the midnight sun
now the land of the midday stars
what a sequenced spectacle
to watch the stars wheel
endlessly across the velvet sky
hour after hour
night after unending night
as the earth pirouettes
beneath one’s feet
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
chase each other’s tails
around and around the star of the north
polar bears, indeed
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but here
the wind rises with the Sun
and whale sounds erupt
from beneath the frozen lake
as the waters beat against the ice
breath condenses upon eyelashes
ice crystals dangle before ones eyes
illuminated by the sun in perfect orbs
like Christmas ornaments not yet put away
a sprig of Arbor Vitae lies upon the path
tree of life, messenger of life ever green

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This calls to mind one of my favorite things to say, but it’s so quaint I can only say it once a year, so here goes:
Glove-a-lees are lovely
but I’m smitten by mittens

The Alchemy of Magnetism & Resonance

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The ecstatic magnetism that unites lovers. The sweet resonance that unifies friends. The rapture of body and soul when these two are met in One.

Magnetism draws opposite energies together. Resonance draws similar energies together. Alchemy transpires when these converge.

The ferver of desire and bliss of contentment. The allure of the exotic and the comfort of the familiar.   The encounter with the Other, and the embrace of the Self.

Opposites attract.  Like attracts like unto itself.  Two contradictory truisms that are indeed both true.

Never Have I Held Her

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Never have I held her
never have I felt
the electricity
between our bodies excite
as auras encounter
then meld together
nor the press
of soft flesh
upon hard muscle
Never have I felt her
heartbeat drumming
upon the hollow
of my chest
and yet
the pulse of her heart
as a rhythm carried
in the ocean’s waves
reverberates
within me

My Upanishad

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Who will meet me here
in undimensioned space
where I am and am Not
where self divests itself
of itself
and identity has no meaning

here
there is neither love
nor desire
but only being
remains

though I may have held you close
intoxicated
by the fragrance
of the blossoms of your heart
the embrace releases
the one being we were
surrenders
melds
into the larger Self

this path
is not a path
of the heart
nor the body
but of pure consciousness

walk with me here
and we may once again
walk the path
of the heart
or the body

who is it
that can walk the many paths
of being
in a single journey
Rumi’s expansive field
is too small