If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Rosari Kingston (Skibbereen, West Cork) presented ‘An examination of the therapeutic role of charms, myth and rituals.’ I could have listened to this speaker for several hours! Ms Kingston is an Herbalist, and is currently working towards her PhD examining early Irish medical MS (I believe). This presentation could have done with a handout. The flow of information sped by, and I am afraid what I was able to capture in note form is scant, indeed.
The overarching theme of the discussion was a reiteration of treating ‘like with like,’ and linking the ‘magical theft’ motif with an idea from folk tradition: that of “limited good.”
Looking back at the long history of herbal and plant use in Ireland, Ms Kingston described how valuable knowledge has been lost. Herbs once listed in medical tracts with detailed uses and application, have been reduced in modern memory as a “cure…
I got a small bit of royalties this morning in my account. I get excited every time I get some and today it means I can buy lunch. You have no idea after 5 years of on and off temping because I got laid off what a blessing it is when people buy my books. It really does feed a real live author.
I’ve had this temp job for 14 months and the limit at this company is 15 months. So unless they make good on their promise to keep me I will yet again be adrift on unemployment and once companies check my id for how old I am, they don’t want me. I’ve had 2nd and 3rd interviews and then they ask for id and I never hear from them again. I get through because instead of almost 60 I look around 40. I have great references, I have great experience but a woman is a year from 60 aint’ going to get hired unless a temp job keeps her.
They have me doing all the hard stuff here and training new temps. Who they are going to give the messes to when I leave beats me because no one else gets it and it always gets dumped on me. When someone is behind in their work, I get it even If they have thoroughly made hash of it. When I talk to people in other parts of the company and fix their problem they are always surprised I’m a temp and not a “real” employee and then they call my boss and say nice things. But allegedly there is a hiring freeze on people in California, we’re too expensive.
So now I wait and hope. It would be really nice to have health insurance again and a 401K. Thinking good thoughts…Sigh…
I call to Gofannon, strong-armed son of Don,
master of the forge; yours is the art of hammer
and tongs, yours the deadly blade and the sturdy plow.
Gofannon of the brothers three, great ones whose work
in the realms brought such blessings to mankind,
all the craft of iron is yours to bestow;
the gift of hardened hands, the sooty face
of the artisan, each blacksmith wears your favor
on his skin. Gofannon who takes the rock within
the earth, who makes from it things of use and beauty,
who shares with us this changing of the world,
I praise your name, I praise your goodness and your grace.
Once upon a time there was town where the people were all made of very strong crystal and if they fell down they didn’t break. They were a very beautiful people and the most beautiful thing about them was their hearts. Their hearts were made of red crystal and looked like Valentine hearts. And one of the many unique things about this very special town is that they were all well loved and every one knew just how loved they were.
How did they know how loved they were? When some one was loved in this town their heart would have a lovely ribbon tied around it with a bow because love leaves a mark on your heart. Everyone always made sure that their ribbons were tied with a bow so that everyone was free to walk around. Because everyone in this small town had a different colour ribbon the hearts were full and amazingly colourful. And in this lucky town no one ever tried to see how many ribbons were on the hearts they just enjoyed their beauty.
One day a new person moved into the town. She changed the balance of things. When she met people she liked she put her ribbon on like every one else but because she was afraid of losing people she held on to the ribbon and tied a knot instead. She was afraid of losing the love she had collected.
Pretty soon people in town were falling down because she hadn’t let go of the ribbons. For the first time in their lives they were showing cracks. It was terrible. The ribbons trailed all over the street and got tangled around street lamps and cats played with them, dogs tried to bury them and birds tried to carry them off to make nests.
The town’s people got together and decided something had to be done. Their children would never make it to adulthood if they started having cracks like this. Some day they might break. So they decided to do something for the witch, for a witch she was. They normally liked witches. Witches did a lot of good work in town but this one needed help badly. She just had the wrong idea about things. So they went to the witch with a pair of big scissors.
“Dear Miss Witch,” they said, for they were always polite to each other in this town. “Would you let us cut the ribbons you are holding and tie you some beautiful bows?”
“No!” said the witch. “How will I know who loves me and who I love if I cut the ribbon and don’t hold on tight?”
“You will just have to trust like the rest of us that you are well loved.” said the town’s people.
“But that’s not right. What if someone doesn’t love me? What will I do?” wailed the witch.
“Not everyone is always loved by everyone. We all leave marks on people’s hearts. We just always try here to make a beautiful mark. We let go and let people come back and tie a bow on our heart when we are ready for them. And if they are never ready to do that we find other people in town who will love us. Tripping people and holding on to their heart ribbons is wrong and makes people like horses on reins in other towns. Even our horses here don’t have reins. You need to let go and trust and I as Mayor of the town will tie the first bow.” He picked up his ribbon and followed it back to the lonely witch and as she cried and shivered he tied a beautiful bow. One by one the people who had met her and cared for her tied bows on their ribbons. She was shivering so hard they thought she might crack herself. Not every one tied a bow, some people didn’t know her well enough and some people didn’t like her very much so they cut their ribbon. This made the witch cry with the loss but not everyone as the Mayor had said is loved by all. Some people just don’t like being held on to so tightly. You just have to grow up and accept this as fact.
The witch looked down when they were done and stopped crying. There were simple bows and frilly bows and silly bows but still there were enough bows to show that she was loved and liked. The town’s people had made their point and she was just going to have to trust that she was loved as much as her heart showed. And from then on there were no more cracked crystal people in town from tripping on ribbons and this made all the town and the witch happy.