And what of Love? Poem

And what of Love?

And what of Love in brightest days
With illumined lofty shafts

And brings provision, gives us air,
To work our human crafts.

And heightened strains so sweet and low.
Upon the leaves and trees.

And brightens every young man’s heart from sickness and disease.

And on it’s wings white feathers seen
Of purity and graces

Rising higher in our thoughts.
From darkened mortal places.

And where it dwells upon the heart
With joyful power and praise.

We look to it to guide us home.
In every human way.

An Unfinished Poem,

Gently on piano keys or,
strung upon the harp,
strummed upon the guitar strings or
words said from the heart,

A colder breeze in winter time
or withered flowerless briar
all are made to break your dreams
and draw your thoughts much higher

An Ocean beach in times more calm
At home with people stern
A tempest storm or healing balm
Higher thoughts that you must learn

Ne´er upon life´s empty shores
no matter how it seems
For going to reach a better place
you have to break the dream

Learning Scottish Gaelic – Introduction

The problem with learning Gaelic is no different than learning any other language:

  1. access to material
  2. access to a teacher
  3. access to people to practice with.

There is an opinion that because it´s Gaelic; the language will somehow be harder. This is gladly not the case.  It is simply because there are less people around to practice with.

I am about to launch a Gaelic blog on this site to help with learning which will be called “Morning in the Mountains” since I will mostly be writing it in the mornings here in Scotland. It will be a little bit different from usual courses because I want to try and cover the three points mentioned above. I also want to make the course a bit slower than other courses so we can enjoy the rich grammar and more vocabulary without having to rush through a grammar book.  I also want it to move slower for older people. Finally, I want to use different kinds of materials for learning, Art, Spirituality, History, Proverbs and Experiences.  I really don´t want this to simply be another Gaelic blog, I want it to be something which people can connect with, enjoy reading and get to know.

I also want it to be an expression of my faith. Something a bit more mental and experiential rather than trying to cram in information to my brain. Something which you will like.

I suggest you use these pages in conjunction with a thorough study of “Gramar na Gàidhlig” by Michael Byrne

and

http://www.memrise.com  use the decks version

 

#Gaelic Spirit? What is it in relation to language and culture?

Yesterday I wrote a post about linking Gaelic language and identity with a Spirituality. Working on the basis that at present, many Gaels (defined as people who speak the language) are not native and those who are native are affected largely by their past, growing up in isolated communities where outward pervasive religious opinion has largely dominated thinking particularly before the technological era. The idea of looking at this, is to ensure that Gaelic learning is based on a Principled learning structure  otherwise any attempt to push it forward is likely to fail as it would have no basis or claim to a continuing reality.

I would like to continue that post by looking more at what “Gaelic Spirit” might be and how it can be harnessed to push the language into the future, let go of unhelpful dogma as well as honouring our history.

To begin, we need to define exactly what we mean by  “Spirit”. This term is not in any way linked to a religious idea specifically although it does not exclude it. The question is, what is the force which brings us to a point of language learning or choosing to use a different form of communication, which actually reinforces our identity, as Gaels?

Yesterday I spoke about drawing a pedagogical structure to demonstrate these points. In any such structure “Spirit” needs to be clearly demonstrated as the power of the thing or at the heart of it. In religious terms this can be called ruach, wind of God or a whole host of other largely unhelpful words and as these terms bring up a sense of the very things we are trying to displace on one hand organised religious opinion and myticism or paganism on the other, I don’t want to bring them into the structure.

Although I have not started working on drawing the structure yet, it will be loosely based upon the hand drawn chart in the picture below,  which was created by me to show the continuous revelation of English for language learners. It is a structure which is divided into two parts, practical and academic (left and right) and conscious and Subconscious (top and bottom) where the bottom part represents “Spirit” governing the top part which is our outward functional identity. A structure like this can be used to analyse  personal and collective Gaelic learning and further definitions can be added to each line of each square later to bring out more points.

The question which can be asked even at this early stage with a basic hand drawn chart has to be:

“what is driving me to learn  Gaelic, is it my outward self based on a material, personal or political agenda or is it coming from “Spirit”? ( in this case we will define Spirit as God or  our subconscious or collective Mind).

I need to say that unless we are prepared to honestly ask ourselves this question, with the help of a structure such as this, then we can expect to see more opposition to Gaelic learning because political force and sentimentality are not enough for it to survive. Outward strength brought on from political rhetoric, personal circumstances etc cannot endure in the long term, whereas a sound principled idea of learning Gaelic is more helpful.

For native Gaelic speakers, the structure could also be used to explore a more Spiritual theme such as whether a personal god exists in the top two rows in that person’s particular expression or whether a deeper look at personal offences needs to be examined.

It may be helpful for us to explore how to use the Collective Mind or subconscious to push ourselves forward but the structure needs to be defined first as well as the terms I want to use to further demonstrate my points.

I hope to be able to come up with it shortly.

 

 

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