It is hard to not be fond of one’s ancestors. At least it is hard not be fond of the vague idea of ancestors — those hardy souls who made a new life in a new world or who fished the rough Mediterranean seas, or cut turf in in County Cork — good honest work for honest people. They exist in a world of beards and bustles and church and market, and seas and fields.
I don’t suppose I would like them half so well if I knew them twice as well. In my personal experience there is no one beyond my great-grand parents generation, except — and here is the kicker — a few popes and a tenuous connection to an early Persian saint. I don’t know much about the ancestors, and, really I don’t need to they are there ancient and serene. The family name and perhaps the family face, dark red hair, and predisposition to early baldness.
When faced with details everything becomes a matter of judgement, and there is a responsibility to take all of the facts in, even the nasty ones, before coming to a conclusion. Of course there is a tendency to choose one nasty trait and condemn the whole by it, which is equally irresponsible, and is much easier than analysis. Graves,who as a gentleman knows far too much about his ancestors, is always caught between pride and a total rejection of the world that they supported and partly created. All of our descendants are likely to now too much about us, hopefully they will ignore us and our petty vanities. Unless we destroy all traces of ourselves. When you get home tonight delete you Myspace.
It’s Michaelmass (I believe it rhymes with ‘fickle miss’) Eve, the day in which we celebrate the archangels, and the celebration of the day Satan fell from heaven onto a blackberry bush.
Not uncoinsidentily it it also the day old Scratch laid a curse on the whole species of shrubbery.
It is not advisable to eat black berries after today.
I have been off this blog for a while now, and long-time readers haven’t had any new material.
It has been a crazy few months. I am now living in Lithuania, working, adjusting, and trying to manage the language. I will keep posting irregularly, and those of you who are interested can see announcements of my new fiction pieces on my Facebook page.
Today is Saint Carannog’s Day, as some of you know I am rather fond of this particular saint, and wrote about him once.
There are a few extant stories about him, and my favorite never seemed particularly Christian, at least to me. It is also unusually pro-dragon; even though it comes from as anti-dragon an age as ours. But nobody seems to be celebrating. I take it as a sign of anti-dragon bias.
Some of you may have noticed that my last entry wasn’t very good, but that isn’t quite true. The truth is it wasn’t even written.
Over the summer I sketched out a series of blog entries to get me through the fall and winter in an effort to force myself to keep writing. That, however, isn’t quite how it worked. I just kept rescheduling the posts until one week they caught up to me and the piece on Auden was published and then the next week I forgot the Amy Winehouse article was next — even though they are numbered. I’m not sure exactly how I made the same mistake twice in a row, but I did. I also found that my view on the matter changed between the time I initially wrote it and the moment of its premature publication — so it needed more than polishing — it needed to be rewritten.
So there you have it. if you have any faith in this blog left, tune in next week for Amy Winehouse reconsidered. If not feel free to use me as a warning to your children about the dangers of planning for the future.
On Walpurgis Night none should leave,
Or walk alone, on the Witches’ Sabbath
When the devilish and the wicked walk the Earth —
The wicked who hide all year in the heaths
And the wicked among us who want to join them. –Kreduleð of Gulmanshire
Of Kreduleð we know nothing except that he stayed in the abbey of Gulmanshire for much of his life and disappeared in April 535. This brief poem and a Latin treatise on gardening are the only works currently attributed to him.