KildysartQuinEnnisCorofinGortCoole Park

Today, I hitched another 90 miles up the west side... Kildysart ⇒ Ennis ⇒ Quin ⇒ Ennis ⇒ Corofin ⇒ Gort ⇒ Coole Park. On my way to Ennis, I detoured east, toward Limerick, There once was a tourist from Nashville
Who found himself a bit bashful
When visiting Quin
He didn't fit in;
But in Limerick his balderdash will.
to the little town of Quin, mostly visited for its landmark, Quin Abbey. The abbey was originally a Norman castle fought for, destroyed, and rebuilt many times during the centuries of conflict between the Irish and their unwelcome guests from the island next door. My purpose was otherwise. Perhaps this was the ancestral home of my mother. I wanted to see it and feel it. Maybe I would detect some familiar vibrations. I bought a postcard of the abbey to write home about later. Then I visited the local pub for a taste of the Guinness. Lo and behold...there were all my uncles sipping their brews, playing their cards, talking their blarney! I was Alex Haley discovering my roots in a saloon packed with albino Kunta Kintes.


My mother had seven brothers. The oldest fought in WWI. The youngest was the only one to graduate from high school. In those days, a high school diploma was equivalent in social status to a college diploma today. A few years from now, everyone will be pressured into graduating with a PhD, and none of them will know enough to change a light bulb. Sallie Mae will love it. On Sundays, they would gather in Alpha-Aunt Willy's parlor to play poker for nickels and dimes. They reminded me of the House of Windsor playing a game of thrones. Their likenesses to the British aristocracy may only have been apparent to me, but perhaps my uncles, Quin citizens, and the invading Brits had a common ancestor or two — legitimate and otherwise. However, examining more closely the family portrait, the Windsor likeness may not have been inherited from a Quinn, but from a Stewart — my maternal grandmother. Grandpa Quinn does not have the eyes of his offspring, nor it seems, the intelligence. Either way, those Brits got around round round, they got around from town to town.


DNA weaves its threads randomly through the yet unborn. Why do we look the way we do? By accident? By reincarnation? By the constantly shifting magnetic field around the earth which programs us at birth via induction? What is reincarnation Have you ever played the Incarnate Game? Of course not. We are making it up right now. Each player is given an ephemeris of the 21st century and the first one to find the best time to reincarnate wins. Best times are judged by how close you come to the planetary positions in your natal horoscope of sun, moon, ascendant, angular planets, house placements, aspects, etc.

For example, if you were Marilyn Monroe born on June 1st 1926 at 9:30 am in Los Angeles, you may wish to reincarnate in 2001 on June 10th at 9:30 am in Los Angeles again. This would give you one point each for Ascendant, Sun and Moon sign and house placements, one point each for angular Moon, Venus, and Neptune for a total of 8 points. Given a wider range than 100 years, could you score more points? Of course you could!
anyway? The recurring of character patterns in a contemporary someone that are similar to patterns of someone who lived in the past? Astrology is a belief in that recurrence. An astrologer studies recurring patterns so he can predict the future results of those patterns. But is he only witnessing chem trails in the sky? The mind sees patterns where there are none. Seeing patterns is what the mind is. Does seeing a pattern make it true? Does measuring a pattern make it true? Why is measurement the decider of truth? Is Mozart's music greater than Motown's? The difference cannot be measured, and if it could, what would greater mean?

abbey tavern

After watching and listening to 1000 people, our minds will see specific recurring patterns among all people. We generalize. It would be impossible not to. Most of us will see racial, cultural, and gender patterns originating in our family's prejudices. Astrologers will see musical patterns in the form of recurring themes of personality — slow, fast, lyrical, percussive, loud, soft, sweet, sour, presto, largo... Of course, we each play each of these types of tunes from time to time, but some tunes predominate. Our musicianship is judged by how well we play the tune we are given. If we don't play it well, someone else in a future performance will, while some inevitably will not.


Via uncountable combinations of DNA, circumstance, and cycles of nature, what we are forever reincarnates from life to life. What we are is immortal in generation after generation whether we like it or not. Some of us realizing this, yell out Stop this Merry-Go-Round and let me off! Hard to imagine that the Merry-Go-Round is most people's idea of heaven. Blame it on their youth, both individually and culturally. They believe in floating ghosts that migrate from body to body. But that is not what we are. What we are is what every animal feels plus feelings that no animal knows. Start with AWE. There is mystery in the obvious.


North of Gort, perhaps around Lake Coole in Coole Park, where Yeats once lived with Lady Gregory, I slept with the swans. The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

—William Butler Yeats