Friday, February 27, 2009

Bunreacht na hEireann

In keeping with the rant on my personal blog, this is one of the books I am reading now. The Constitution of Ireland. I figure it's something the government and/or the EU may well try to dismantle in the coming years, so it behooves all Irish citizens to be familiar with it, me included. It's a fascinating read, lyrical and well-written, as befitting a state founded by poets and school teachers. I was a bit knocked back to discover we are a patriarchal theocracy. Here's how it starts: In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred. We, the people of Eire, Humbling acknowledging all our 0bligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our Fathers through centuries of trial ..." What is really fascinating are the pages of "Amending Acts" from 1930 to 2004 which so tellingly reveal the changing face of Irish society: reduction of the voting age, *removal of the special position of the Catholic Church* (1973), various ratifications of various European treaties (not Lisbon), the right to information about abortion legally available in other states (1992), right to divorce (1996), removal of the death penalty (2002). It's interesting that Ireland changed slowly but surely with agreement by referendum. I think there is wisdom in that process. Change is difficult, especially the older you get, and this process allows time for people to adapt. It helps keep the fabric of society together, I think, as structures such as the Church and the Family inevitably decline.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Friary

It's been over a week since I got back but my heart and soul are still in Multyfarnham. Also, quite frankly, I am missing how much work I was able to do there, without the usual gazillion distractions. I was reaching a chapter a day even though some were as long as 20 pages, Now I am still on the same chapter I began on my return! I can't lose the impetus on this book. It's too complex and difficult. If I lose the thread, I'm lost in the labyrinth. The only solution: I'm off to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre next week for a week. That should get me back on track. This is the adult book, a work of "spiritual fiction." (Photo credit: Jessica Kelly, an artist who was at Multy on a previous residency. Have a look at her article on same: And here's an article by Ruth Lyons, another artist who was there:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Beautiful Place

There's no doubt that I was inspired by my stay at the Franciscan Friary in Multyfarnham. I brought the adult novel up with me. I had just started the penultimate draft, the one that is always blood, sweat and tears, the one that is "99% perspiration" after the first fiery blast of vision and inspiration, the one that always convinces me I can't write or, at least, I am not good enough a writer for this particular creation. The first day was indeed hard work but I persevered. Soon, however, I was flying along thanks to the early risings, prayers and meditation, delicious meals, and heady conversations with Friars and fellow artists. I made it to Chapter 15 of a 35-chapter book; and I am really thrilled and excited about what I am writing. Hopefully I can keep up the pace now that I am back home with the usual hundreds of distractions. Once this draft is done there is only the final polish which is my favourite draft as it is all paintwork, jewellery and decoration, all play and little work. That means I could have this book done and dusted by the spring. Wouldn't that be brill. (PS More pics of place over on my regular blog.)