a dozen pictures

We made it in a very leisurely fashion from Kells to Dingle.  We stopped along the route of Ring of Kerry to take pictures and enjoy.  Here are some pictures, one from Dublin, one from last night, and the rest from today.

The Dingle Marathon (there is a full marathon, a half marathon, and an ultra marathon) advertises itself as the most beautiful marathon in the world.

It is breathtaking.

Lots of up along with pretty much an equal amount of down.  We will run along the cliff edge out of Dingle with the Dingle Bay (north Atlantic waters) to our left.  So the last several pictures are from the race route.

Picture 1:  Millie this one is for you.  Wanted you to know the bears from St. Andrew are enjoying the trip and it’s many modes of transportation.  Here they are waiting for the train from Dublin to Limerick.  Earlier they had traveled by bus from Glendalough and then by taxi from the bus stop at Upper Dawson to the Dublin Heuston train station.

Bears in the Heuston Train Station, Dublin

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just a little run in the hills

No internet yet at our lovely home in Kells of County Kerry, so we are at Caitin’s Pub for a bit to check email and write a little to you.

Spectacular day here.  Great day of sun.  Nary a drop of rain.

This is the view across Dingle Bay from the home we will inhabit for the next three weeks.  Our neighbors from Sarasota, Bruce and Roberta, will join us for a week beginning on the 4th.  You are in for quiet, rural, majestic beauty Roberta & Bruce . . . unless it rains . . . and then . . . well, it will just be a different kind of beautiful:

Dingle Bay

Across that water is where Dingle is.  And Dingle is where Patricia and I are registered to run a half marathon on Saturday – 9/1/2012 beginning at 9:00 am Ireland time (about 4:00 am, Sarasota time.)  “You know, if you go by water it is just 12K , take you about an hour.  And if you drive, oh my the roads are kinda curvy and slow.  It’s about 70K by car and it’ll take you a couple hours to get there from here.”

So spoke one of the folks we have met.  This one was Eugene.

Anyway we have decided (since we don’t have a boat and haven’t yet mastered the art of running on water, well actually, walking either) to drive to Dingle tomorrow afternoon in a leisurely fashion, get our race packets, join in the festivities that include a pasta feed, then spend the night in a Dingle hotel and have a kind morning before the run rather than a harried drive in the dark of early am to get there on Saturday.

Wanna find out if we finished on Saturday when you get up?  Go to: http://www.dinglemarathon.ie and click on the race results.

Life is good to us.

Patricia was impressed by our walk on the beach this afternoon.  “Look at this one.  Ohh, look at this one.  And this one.  Even some of the rocks are green in this land of so many hues of green.” We were making cairns of rocks (you know, stacking rocks one on top of the other until they look a bit like a statue) at the far end of the beach, near a stunning home.  The man who lives there, called down to us.  We got to talking.  He invited us to join he and his wife for coffee.  We sat on their deck and listened to their tales of Kells and the Dingle peninsula.  Hospitality and grace are alive and well in Ireland

So glad Isaac was not a devastation to you or the folks where it “went ashore.”

May evening come upon you with kindness tonight.   And, in the night, may you dream of flowers as beautiful as these in County Kerry, Ireland.

flowers on our Kells front porch

soul food

Got a bit more internet speed tonight, so will try a few pics.

Today was our final morning with Mary Meighan. It is beyond words to say how her way with Celtic Spirituality has opened us and inspired us and humbled us and encouraged us and emboldened us and delighted us.
Thank you, Mary!

May you, Mary, be blessed, blessed, blessed, as you have blessed, blessed, blessed us.

Mary Meighan

Mary at Pipers Stone Circle – an ancient, old place of ritual that is a thin place, for sure.

Patricia in her "frog-tog" with Phil at the entrance to Castleruddery Stone Circle

This was a place where, upon quiet and meditation, Patricia saw images of a Druid gathering in her imagination and I saw women playing drums and flutes in the center of the circle to the dancing of the three circles of dancers around. It is a mystical place.

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circles of stone

Today, in solidarity with those of you in Isaac’s way, we’ve had rain and then some more rain, well, and maybe a bit more rain after that.

Lovely, really.

The River Glendasan has nine very large rocks across it (bolders actually) from our stone cottage to the road that leads to the Hotel Glendalough about 2K away. That is where we are now . . . I’m enjoying a pint Guinness and Patricia is trying (with limited success) to talk on the phone. The rocks in the river have been well above the water line all our stay long . . . until today. It rained in the night and then long into the day. The stepping stones, all of ‘em, are under rushing water. We came across anyway, to see what we could find of you and maybe post a picture. Last night I tried . . . it looked like it was working and then after about a dozen minutes, what appeared on the post was all “code.” So you didn’t get a pic. Tonight I’m not even gonna’ try . . . it seems slower yet.

Anyway, seems as though Isaac has moved west of Sarasota as far as we can tell by way of our limited internet connection. We are grateful. We continue to hold those of you in harm’s way in our prayers, whether that be rain or hurricane or heritage or illness or . . . we hold you in our prayers.

Today Mary took us, after a very rained drenched walk of the labyrinth, to stone circles of long and long ago . . . you know, before Jesus . . . well actually before the pyramids . . . old, old circles . . . thin places of love and light and (for me) joy. Will send some pictures another time.

Dear ones, may the old ones bring you comfort tonight.
Dear ones, may the old ones bring you hope tonight.
Dear ones, may the old ones bring you love tonight.

May you . . . me . . . us . . .

Today was the day before our last day with Mary.
What a fine journey it has been.
We are better by way of you, Mary, and by way of the Valley.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Today is the day, as we look at the website of the National Hurricane Center that Isaac continues.
May you, dear ones of Sarasota, know safety in these winds and rains.
May there be none who are injured.
May your homes be strong.
And may you know the hospitality and community of Andrew through it all.

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chinking

Today Mary took us to the labyrinth and invited us to invite the mystical into the remaining portion of our pilgrimage with her.

Then we went to Dublin to experience the poetry and places in Dublin that were “hearths” of the 20th century Irish poet, Patrick Kavanaugh.

We went to the canal he visited often and often. There we met a father and his son – was dad in his late sixties and son in his 30’s? Maybe. Anyway, we got to talking about Patrick . . . the younger one remembered a part of a line from a poem . . and Mary finished it.

I went to the bookstore and bought his collected poems.

The name of the poem that was given voice around the seated statue of Patrick on a bench along the canal were words he wrote, my book says was written sometime between 1939 and 1946. It is called “Advent.”

Think about the chinking between logs in a log home or in Ireland between the rocks of a home with walls of rock known here as your “hearth.”

The poem is longer – but these nine words are what were remembered today:

“Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.”

“Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.”

“Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.”

These words invite my wonder . . . how about you?

free of me

Yesterday we learned of Tropical Storm Isaac.  We prayed for all people in Isaac’s way.  And we prayed again today.  We will pray again tomorrow.  And the day after that too.

Mary guided us to the labyrinth again.

It is the way we begin each of our times together.

Then we spent time in the “Tearmann” (sanctuary) together.

Tearmann - Glendalough - (sanctuary)

The small building that contains the room for our inside times with Mary.

teh candle on our altar area

Each time we meet in the Tearmann (sanctuary), Mary lights this candle from the light of a St. Brigit Mother Candle. It continues to light our way with love on this part of the journey.

Mary read us these words from Brendah Kennely’s poem, “Proof.”

She has read them to us before.

I am taken with them:

I would like all things to be free of me, never to murder the days with presuppositions, never to feel they suffer the imposition of having to be this or that.  How easy it is to maim the moment with expectation, to force it to define itself.  Beyond all that I am, the sun scattered the light as though by accident.”

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St. Kevin – born 498 – died 618 AD

Another beautiful day in our lives . . . and in our pilgrimage at Glendalough with Mary Meighan.  The first two days of our time with her were spent in learning about some of the threads in the fabric of Celtic Spirituality.  She has said so much to us, here are some samples of things as I remember them:

When God made time, he made plenty of it.

Repetition is important.

Do things in threes,  We do things in threes.

Let go your stuff and enter the circle of spirit here.

We are non-linear

and

we are non- dualistic.

 Women are part of it . . . and men too.

We hold the contradictions.

Gather the bits and pieces of yourselves, you know, emmmm, the brokenness, make friends with it.

 You know this is about a weaving, about being woven, bringing it all into the tapestry of who we are and what.

Thresholds matter.  We step through them to another place – allowing the threshold to be the place of our entry into the adventure before us – the pilgrimage before us.

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12 hours – 8/21/2012

This valley of Glendalough in Ireland has been for centuries, is now, and will be long and long into the future, a “thin place.”  Here in this valley the “past and the future are present,” says Mary Meighan.  It is a “thin place” for those from history and for those of us here right now.

It is soooo mystically beautiful, and tangibly earthy, all at once.

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