Sally, over at RevGalBlogPals, writes:
"... sailing is a family passion, we love the water and the wind, and take delight in the fresh air and quiet, but also in the competition, striving to do our best!
How about you?
1. Is there a sport/ hobby that is more of a passion than a past-time for you?
I've never been one for sports, although I do like salt-water swimming and Messing About In Boats and I adore a good game of Extreme Croquet.
My hobby/passion is the exploration of folk culture and traditions--especially those of the British Isles. (I come by this anthropological bent honestly-- growing up in a multi-ethnic family with three adopted siblings, intercultural study was simply a part of daily life, and provided a goodly portion of our family fun.) With some like-minded friends, we even started a nonprofit organization to support our folk culture habit, although it's in "sleep mode" while we finish building our house. The Piper and I have justified the purchase of many a CD and weighty ethnographic tome by saying, "It's all for the Ceilidh House library, of course--and we'll use these as reference materials when we teach our bagpipe and Gaelic language students!"
2. Outdoors or indoors?
Outdoors: festival-going, "ethnically-correct" gardening and orchard-tending with heirloom plant varieties, and staying close to the salt water that bouys my spirit and connects me to my ancestors. Indoors: delving into books, gathering with other folklore enthusiasts, swapping stories, and having great music session around the woodstove.
3. Where do you find peace and quiet?
Not sure right now-- it's been a hard year. I seek peace in the slow intake and release of breath, the comfortable closeness of my partner, the gradually-revealed beauty of our almost-finished house and the slowly-emerging health of our land. Quiet is easier to find than peace--I am thankful every morning and every night that I can begin and end my days surrounded, almost entirely, by natural rather than human-made sounds. (I'll relish the quiet more fully when I can find my missing whetstone and "take care" of a couple of extra roosters, if you know what I mean!)
4. A competitive spirit; good or bad, discuss...
A competitive spirit is like fire: a good servant, a terrible master, and dangerous to play with. I appreciate its ability to overcome inertia and get a person moving towards a goal, but I don't like the way others tend to be left in a person's wake. I should come clean and declare, right here, that I am a vicious card player, but fortunately my commpetitive streak is matched by a tendency toward distraction and terrible bad luck in the dealing of hands.
5. Is there a song a picture or a poem that sums up your passion ?
I've posted links to Richard Hugo's poem, Glen Uig, in previous posts. It captures some of the essential pain and joy of reconnection to one's past. Here's another poem from Cathal O Searcaigh, translated from Irish Gaelic by Gabriel Fitzmaurice:
A Portrait Of The Blacksmith As A Young Artist
I'm sick and tired of Dun Laoghaire.
Of my bedsit in Cross's Avenue,
A pokey place that cripples my wordsmith's craft
And leaves me nightly in the dumps
Scrounging kindred among the drunks
Instead of hammering poems for my people
On the anvil of my mind.
Almighty God! It's gone too far,
This damned silence.
If I were back in Caiseal na gCorr
I'd not be awkward, half-alive.
No way! But in the smithy of my tongue
I'd be hale and hearty
Working my craft daily
Inciting the bellows of my mind
Stirring thoughts to flame
The mettlesome speech of my people.
--found in Writing the Wind: a Celtic Resurgence: The New Celtic Poetry, ed. Thomas Rain Crowe.
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