It's official; I'm going to Ireland December 13 for a whole month. I'm so excited because I have not been to Ireland for Christmas since I was very young. I'm hoping my parents will have a house by then. So far I got a message from my mom saying something about cows inhabiting a house they were interested in. I'm more excited to go back this time because there is so much more that I want to do than ever before. I've been reading these two books
Saints, scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland
by Nancy Scheper-Hughes
This book is so funny yet very sad. It's the study of a small Irish village in the 1970's not to far from where I grew up. The author is an American woman who tells tales about her and her families experience as an outsider in a very strick, small Catholic run village. A lot of the problems she comes across are issues that I have faced as a teenage "wannabe" yankee being brought up at home with the strict Irish Catholic 1970's values of my parents which never made sense to me. I wouldn't have minded but for the fact that my dad was an aetheist all of my childhood, but then along with moving to a new country somehow he adapted the Catholic faith. The only way he knew how to practice being a Catholic was from the insane rules he had as a child in the 1960's. Those are the rules he stuck to all through my adolescent "fun" years. The other problem is that during our absence from Ireland, Ireland was developing and evolving into a different Ireland. An island less on the ball and chain of the church and more on the road to a greater richer Ireland. So a lot has changed. If I had stayed in Ireland my family would have evolved along with others of their generation and not held on to these time capsuled ways. Although, I'm pretty sure if I had stayed in Ireland I would be knocked up with three kids by now, and a husband with no job. I think I'll take the troubled teenage years I had and live with it. So this brings me to the other book I am reading.
A just Society?
Edited by John Scally
It is a book with a bunch of essays on the ethics and values in contemporary Ireland. These essays are written by the best scholars in Ireland, and they pose a lot of difficult questions. If you have been reading my blog, you will have remembered my interest in Irelands new identity, and the problems it is creating. Although I am pleased Ireland is not run by the Catholic church I feel like a lot of problems are occuring because there is not any other value system being put in place. It is so hard to read newspapers about my countries problems with drugs, suicides, alcohol abuse, murders, racism, vandalism, and the such. It's difficult to see sprawling new houses being build and the landscape/enviroment not being taken care of. But on the good side more children are able to go to college, more people have health care, people own their own houses, better wages, communities are getting a face lift, more employment.....and this is where the debate comes in. How can the good things combat the bad??? It's a very interesting book.
When I go back, I want to observe what I have read for myself and apply it to my art. I'm also very interested in folk tales and am wondering how society can learn the from their olf folk tales, as they have learned from the Catholic values on how to live a just life. My thoughts seem a little jumbled right now, and probably don't make sense, but it will become more clear with time.
"You can tell a good man by how he treat his horse."