Kiss Me, I’m Irish

January 26, 2007



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She shook with laughter as she held up a pair of men’s boxer shorts with the Kiss Me I’m Irish logo. Strands of her thick black wavy hair shoulder-length hair fell across her honey-coloured cheeks and she pushed them back as she lifted her face. “I love it!”she exclaimed. “I want it!” It reminded me of a family story that I wanted to tell her. Ever since she became a member of our Irish-English family she has made us all even more aware of our genealogy.

My linguist son is looking into the (Gaelic) Goidelic languages which according to wikipedia have historically been part of a dialect continuum stretching from the south of Ireland, the Isle of Man, to the north of Scotland. They are one of two major divisions of modern-day Insular Celtic languages and Brythonic Goidelic is generally divided into: Irish Gaeilge, Scottish Gaelic Gàidhlig and Manx Gaelg.

I’m uploading my oral and archival family history so my grandchildren present and future will know from where they have come.

Meanwhile my youngest son and his beautiful French wife have sent us the most emotionally-charged images I could imagine. Body Worlds 3Inter-uterine photography may not evoke wonder and awe in everyone, but when the grandson (we now know it is a boy) is visible thanks to technology and sharable (thanks to email attachments) I am enraptured. But it’s not just the still .jpg images where he looks like a sculpture cast in pure gold, we can see his movements thanks to .avi even though is is only 15 weeks old. I approach him with such reverence and in speechless wonderment because these images are rare images from a world within worlds. There is no comparison between the jolting experience of sketching at Body Worlds 3 in December and the experience of these images on my screen. These are situated somewhere between 13 weeks and 21 weeks but this is so much more real, related and therefore relevant to my own existence. This child will be in our hearts, minds and souls through all the worlds of God.

But more than that . . . he is also related to these Irish, British, French ancestors in Europe, the United Kingdom and Canada. If my father were alive he would be including this lad in his gathering of the clover. Each summer my Irish father would find by his own magic a four-leafed clover — the Irish good-luck symbol — for each of his six children. He only looked in areas surrounding our cottage at Rocky Point, Prince Edward Island. I think of him as I think of this new generation for I have seen his abilities and strengths in my own sons.

How are we measured in the larger scheme of things? If it is by our material possessions then we have not fared well, but if it has anything to do with our children and grandchildren, we are fortunate, deeply grateful . . .

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