(Originally posted on EASA Friday, 21. December 2007)
This special morning, like so many before, the rays of the morning sun shone down a 5000 year old neolithic structure and grave in ireland: a passageway tunnel called Newgrange.
This unique structure, which is 500 years older than the pyramids of Egypt and 1000 years older than its more well known Pagan English neighbour Stonehenge, has been a sacred space on our little island which has been celebrating life, its cycles, the connection between the energy from the heavens and the life bearing capability of mother earth since the times of neolithic man. We may not fully understand the understanding our ancestors had of the mystery that is life, but many believe that they lived in a more “ecological” time, understanding, working with and celebrating the cycles of nature. Today, Friday the 21st of December 2007, is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the beginning of the next year, 5000 years ago early man had the mathmathical, astronomical, spiritual, construction skills to build this structure. AND, its still watertight!!! This year for the first time: Newgrange solstice broadcast on web you can watch an hour long documentary about it and the live webcast at 8.30am (GMT) here (View the archive for the film)
Watch a short film from the first live stream from Newgrange
This is what Newgrange looks like from the air, a circular structure with a 20+metre, gently upsloping, tunnel within that has fully lit up for the first 18 minutes of this day for a long long time.
EASA was previosly told about this structure / old clock in paraplu @ EASA04-Roubaix / la condition publique and in an earlier post: Living
Christmas falls at this time of the year after Christianity spread and incorporated existing pagan festivals. With the solstice the longest night passes and the new phase starts, this led to what we have today: “A winter festival was traditionally the most popular festival of the year in many cultures. Reasons included less agricultural work needing to be done during the winter, as well as people expecting longer days and shorter nights after the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.”
So this is just a little bit about the island you will be spending EASA2008. Im glad that the 08 team have put so much effort into what I imagine will be an excellent EASA, well done to one and all. Things have moved on a long way from those early INCM days of 2001 in Berlin. I feel they are commited to thorough investigation into some of the most pressing issues for both Ireland and also our world…. how we can adapt to live in a way that works with and celebrates life and nature… how it was on the island all those years ago; our returning to the start of the cycle…
As a few little presents for you I share a bit of music, links, articles, documentarys about the island I love, my “home”, Eireann. Let me introduce you to some of my heroes…
William McDonough: The wisdom of designing Cradle to Cradle
“Cities as trees, cities as forests” cradle to cradle eco architect William McDonough speaks for 20 minutes on TED on how to build a sustainable world…eco cities in china to healthy happy people
Father Ted…DRINK, FECK, GIRLS….shave a bullock:
Welcome to the pure manic comic genius that is Ted, this is one my favourite clips, My Lovely Horse
D’Unbelievables – A Right Funny Man Darcy
Pat Shortt as headmaster in Glengooley National School: Now a word of warning to those of you heading west, or WESSHHTT, as it is pronounced out letterfrack way, accents vary hugely in ireland and from this very rich world has come the legendry madness of D’Unbelievables: accurate portrayels of village life; the GAA, teachers ways, mass, women…. one of my mates in askeaton, west limerick had pat shorts brother as a teacher and the above apparently is a right take on him.
EASA ye might not fully understand the phrases or the nuances, but i hope you enjoy it none the less.
And finally that which is probably most known from ireland: U2
– U2 Anthem of the 80s, a very good World in Action docementary from when Ireland was poor, lacked spirit untill U2 broke out of that with something new: angry pacifism, looking at heroin abuse, unempployment, war a response of HOPE.
– U2 – Angels in Devils Shoes, Documentary aired in Australia in either 1989 or 1990
The amazing music archive other voices, irish artists and a few from beyond playing in an old church, Bell X1, mark lanagan,
a bit of modern groovy music and smart design:
Redneck Manifesto-We Still Got It
trad and folk
The band has played in a number of different styles, but their music is a mix of Celtic folk music with rock and roll, or folk rock. Their songs, largely written by Scott, often contain literary references and are frequently concerned with spirituality. One of my favourite tunes: This is the Sea
see also, Waterboys – Jigs with Sharon Shannon and a lovely vid of Mike Scott playing The Whole Of The Moon for an audience of schoolchildren in Clifden (the town next to letterfrack), Connemara, Ireland in 1987.
the no-disco planxty documentary: the irish trad beatles : 6 part show
…”The group’s first major performance, opening for Donovan in Galway, was a huge success. Neither the audience nor the band knowing what to expect, were both pleasantly surprised. Irvine, unable to see the audience through the lighting, was worried that the crowd was on the verge of rioting. It took him several minutes to realize what he was hearing was enthusiasm.”
The Legend Of Liam Clancy
Liam Clancy, the man whom bob dylan referred to as the greatest folk singer ever..a legend. Watch intro to fine RTE doc above and a recording of one of the greatest gigs i was ever at, Liam Clancy live, kilkenny 2005 from RTE
Sin é anois (pronounced shin-ay ahh-nish, means thats it now)
enjoy 2008, I think its going to be a very memorable year
Slainte agus go mbeirfuidhmuid beo ar an am seo aris agus go bhfaidhfidhmuid bás le siochain
gaeilge for: (y)our health, and let us be well the next time we are together and let us die in peace.