Thursday, March 27, 2008

18 Lúnasa—lá déireanach an chúrsa

Today was a happy and sad one. Last day of the course. We had a class in the morning, then a big meeting of everyone who attended in the meeting room. There was a bit of music, a lot of thanks-giving. and we were all presented with certificates that state we completed the course—well, more like attended the course, as there was no test or aything at the end.

I had arranged to have lunch with Fergal, Patricia and Elaine. I think we went to Tigh an tSaorsaigh but i really don't remember. after lunch we said our goodbyes and promised we'd see each other next year. well, we'll see, i guess. shit happens.

Here's a lovely picture of the four of us Gaeilgeoirí--

Obviously, after saying goodbye, i felt like i didn't have anywhere to go for awhile. So of course i spent some money. That always makes Americans feel better. At least i spent it in support of Oireacht Chorca Dhuibhne by purchasing stuff at their museum's gift shop. I didn't actually spend a lot of money on “stuff” while i was over there—mostly i went and looked atthings or drank my money down. after i'd spent enough at the shop, I wandered back to Tigh Bhric for awhile. I ended up going to the Gallarus Oratory, which is a small stone structure, shaped like an upside-down boat, in which early Christians in Ireland would hold whatever “services” they had back then. It was built using a technique called “dry corbelling” which means there's no mortar used in it at all. The thing still sheds water better than most modern houses. and it's centuries old. the walls are 3 to 4 feet thick. it's sagging a bit in the middle, but i don't think it's going to be collapsing anytime soon.
The man at the desk there at the Gallarus Visitor's Center was an Irish-speaker, and so we talked for a good 20 minutes or so. that made me feel a bit better about the folks i COULDN'T understand—the locals with the really heavy accents. maybe this guy was a transplant—who knows? After i paid him, i watched the little movie about the place, its history, etc. on my way to the oratory itself, i realised there was a way in where you didn't have to pay. led right off the road directly to the site, bypassing the visitor's center altogether! crap. well i didn't need that €12 anyway. i bought a stupid little keychain with the name “Horgan” on it too, as it's related to mom's maiden name “Hourihan” by way of “Ó hAnragháin” and “Ó hAnracháin.”

there at the oratory i saw this little guy, or gal--the fearless sort, if a bit small.

oh yeah, the other touristy thing i did, other than just being an american in Ireland, was to go check out the Láthair Mhainistreach an Riaisc (The Reask monastic site,) about a quarter mile from Tigh Bhric. Its's thought this settlement was established in the 6th Century. It's features include a handful of beehive huts made of native stone, one of which would have been an oratory like the Gallarus one. It was encompassed by a stone wall, and split roughly in two by another, creating seperate living and sacred spaces. None of the structures still stand as they did originaly, but all the stonework has been built back up to about waist height to show the layout. It was fun to try to imagine waking up in the morning, stepping out of a stone hut to greet the day. And you're half a mile from the ocean there too, so that's not too shabby.

I met this guy Tim there, from Cornwall, i think, if i remember at all. He was riding his motorbike around after just having bought it. Took the ferry over into Dublin or Cork or somewhere. I can't remember how we got to talking, because i was about to mount my own two wheeled conveyance and leave. I must have had a fit of friendliness. Anyway i'm glad i did, or he did—he was a nice guy and i told him about a concert that night at Tigh Bhric. (Martin, the Dutch born waiter and housekeeper there was percussionist in a band that was playing.) He was fun to talk to on account of his accent. We drank way too much—closed the pub. which is fine for me since all i had to do was crawl up to bed. He on the other hand had to get on his bike and head back to his lodgings and hope the Gárdaí didn't get him. I assume they didn't. I don't really know, but i'm the optomistic sort. sort of.

Damned if i can remember what he did for a living. oh shit, i just remembered that i was dancing at that concert. i must've had a few too many...

as mo dhialann Gaeilge...

ó a íosa chríost, do bhí an díoma orm inné. ach tar éis piúnta Bulmer's agus dinnéar mór—agus píosa cainte le mo chailín thánaig chugam fhéin arís.

bhí an-oíche againn aréir—chuamar go dtí áit a thugtar “an teach siamsa” air—tigh ceann tuí is ea é, agus tinteán mór istigh ann. bhí tine móna lasta, agus fáilte roimhe! bhíomar go léir fliuch báite de dheasca na haimsire. b'fhéidir le gach éinne amhrán a rá nó tiúin a casadh agus chas mise mo bhodhrán agus dúirt “cailleach an airgid” den chéad uair in Éirinn (tá sí ráite agam i Mericeá cheana)

Anois insan phub le Tim, duine a mbuaileas leis ar an mbóthar inniu agus mé ag tabhairt cuirte ar an Riasc Monestery. Tá banda Mháirtín ag seinm anocht, leis. bíodh geall go mbeidh sé sin an-simiúil ar fad.

Cúpla seanfhear anseo ag caint na Gaeilge, agus boladh deas na mona ar snámh ar an aer...

shite, is file mé...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

as mo dhialann Ghaeilge--17 Lúnasa, 2007

(ná déan dearúd—ní usáidtear “breá” ó thaobh na haimsire. usáidtear “go hiontach” ach usáidtear “go breá” i gConamara. sin a dúirt múinteoir na damhsa dúinn—is as Conamara í, so tá a fhios aici ar a gnó!

Cloch Ógham (le aibítear ann ag Cill Mac Calder (litriú???)

anois-táim CHOMH TUIRSEACH! agus saghas braon den Ghaeilge- brathaim níos mó agus níos mó dúire gach lá. agus táim ag feitheamh ar leath a sé chun dinnéir a fháil.

bhí léacht againn iniu mar gheall ar “Hy Bhrasaíl”--an t-oileán droicht a sholáithríonn gach 7 mbliana. tá scéal in a taobh ann chomh maith. ba bhreá liom an scéal a léamh.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

17 Lúnasa--fillíocht agus siamsa

Funny thing—i've been trying like MAD to get a recording from Radió na Gaeltachta of the interview i mentioned in the last post. my emails were either bounced back or whatever. but yesterday i got home and there was a copy in the day's mail! i listened to it and i have to say i have trouble listening because even though the interview went fine i get so embarassed about my voice, my Irish, how nervous i was, etc. if i hadn't been so nervous it would have been 300 times better. “I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Etc...” but it was good to finally get it. they made my voice sound more manly than i really am too. Bonus!

by now (on the trip i mean) i'm getting a bit sick of speaking in Irish. well how long do you expect me to go? don't get me wrong--i still love, teach and speak the language as often as i can. but i have a new respect for anyone who moves to a new country and has to learn the language of its people. it's frustrating and exhausting. this is the day i actually started avoiding people so i didn't have to talk so much. it didn't work, though. apparently i did talk to people because there are lists in my journal of poets that i should read, which i haven't yet. reading peotry in a foreign language is difficult but the nice thing about it is there's not necessarily a particular context so you get all sorts of words thrown together. well—depending on the poetry i guess. not like in a newspaper where you can expect a certain vocab and certain words pop up again and again—which is also helpful. blather blather.

class as usual today. i think this was the day of the “Great Debate”--”An Díospóireacht Mhór” is something like it in irish, i think. there were 2 teams—one in favor of the decision to cancel all Aer Lingus serveces from Shannon and move them to Belfast, the other against. i said not 2 words as i had not any opinion on the matter, and i had not all the facts. i don't know what merciful power was at work there, but i thank it from the bottom of my soul!

There was also a lecture given on the topic of the magical island of Hy Bhrasaíl (prononced “high VRASS-eel) which supposedly is to be seen every 7 years from the westernmost coast of Ireland, somewhere in the vicinity of the dingle peninsula. there's a lot of legend built up around it. some think it's the lost city of Atlantis. I suspect that when J.R.R.tolkein was researching mythologies he was influenced by this one—his "Numenor" also disappeared in the west.

Later we all went to this place called, em, what was it called? An Teach Siamsa, or something like that. Síamsa means entertainment. It was a big open seisiún where everyone had an opportunity to do a song or tune or recite poetry or whatever. I did “ceallach an airgid” again, accompanied myself on the bodhrán. it was a particularly wet night, and very dark out in the countryside there. the house was a jumbo-sized version of a teach ceann tuí—a thatch-roofed cottage. there were freakin' bleachers in there! and a lighting rig! i got a few good vids and pics.

after that, the four of us fine friends went to a book launch at An Leabhar Pub, somewhere nearby. we got a little lost but got directions from someone. the book was poetry (again with the poetry!) and written by the wife of a guy in my class, Billy, his wife's name was...was...Carolne, i think. don't quote me. we sort of missed the launch, but there were a few musicians there, and this guy from Turkey, who had a lot of opinions. i was a bit drunk so i didn't really care much. Patricia gave me a ride home and that was a night.