Thursday, September 5, 2019

the view from the homeland

  Since our last visit, I've been looking at things differently, under a Scot's influence.
  This is being written on the Isle of Skye, the largest island in the inner Hebrides archipelago. The harbor is a dark midnite out the window of my room. A few lights shine well down the shore, fishing boats are moored below, behind an old stone seawall and a red navigation light flashes out in the channel.The television flashes the BBC news and the latest in the Brexit circus. The UK is adrift on their own sea of political madness. 
     In Edinburgh I was told 63% of the Scots voted against Brexit, preferring to stay with Europe. Opinion polls now say closer to 80% want to say.  And so this political storm has wonderfully put you know who completely out of mind. It is like magic-not just the Brexit business, but something about these climes, and latitudes.

      Sitting in the Elephant House, waiting for my tomato basil soup, smoked salmon and caper berries on oat crackers and a cup of green tea the magnetism of the place where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter was as obvious as the non stop people's paparazzi who lined up angles dodging the busy Edinburgh traffic whizzing past 21 George IV Bridge to get their keepsake photo. As I wondered how many such photos existed on social media platforms a young lad in Potter robe and regalia broke through the sunny door with his family.
      There is something happening here and to your writer. 

  What you see above is the Scottish Motto. "No one harasses me with impunity."  
   Basically Scotland declared itself, and self rule, into existence in April of 1320 with words that have now taken up residence in such a way as to change my equilibrium.
      For we fight not for glory nor riches, nor honors but for Freedom alone, which no good man give except with his life.
    Those words in the Declaration of Arbroath put this nation on the path to be at the cutting edge of reform, resistance, independence, justice, and progressive social evolution since.
    There is new talk this week about Scottish independence. When I visited Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament last week I asked a security detail about the presence of Gaelic language in all government and public places-road signs, in schools, and the like. She said it was something that should be preserved, it set the nation apart. He said he hadn't learned it in school, but knew he would be learning it..
      It's a link to a strong past, that is deeper that I knew.
     Everyone seems to know about Stonehenge, or perhaps the Great Pyramids and they mystery they hold. Well, they are relative latecomers.  The stone rings and the standing stones, like the rings of Brogdar or the Standing Stones of Stenness, seen above, are even older. They are on the main island of the Orkney chain, northern islands of Scotland, between the North Sea and the Atlantic. And there is something more historic
    This is part of Skara Brae, on the Scottish Orkney Islands.
It is some 5000 years old, part of a Neolithic village that among other things demonstrated intelligent social organization, community and a peaceful way of life.
     As some one in the US often says, "Who knew?" Well, I did not and since immersing in this culture I have, as I said before, been looking at things differently.
     There will be more from the homeland and from Irish cousins who have magic and power of their own. 
      The old certainties, and fixed points of power are gone. But there is history, and in history is destiny. It is there we learn and that is the alchemy of change.

     See you down the trail.


  1. Methinks perhaps a wee dram of Scotch whisky may be an influence as well.

  2. Aye. Totally unrelated but brings to mind my current favorite BBC comedy.
    Still Game.

  3. When you get home, I'll tell you the one about the Scottish bridge-builder.

  4. While on Skye be sure to have a dram or two of the drink that was invented there to buck up the Scottish troops: Drambuie.