Death Certificate of Father Thomas Patrick Lee, (at the bottom) the first Parish Priest of Kilbirnie. He apparently was infected by fleas whilst giving the Last Rights aged 33.
Recently I have been writing a few posts about how Gaelic could be revived and used functionally by ensuring that it has a place in our subconscious rather than existing only in political opinion or outward ego.
Such a “place” needs to be linked into the deeper part of our minds, hence the calling for any Gaelic to exist in our Subconscious (let us call this place spirituality) rather than in our functional mind where it has no real basis or claim to longevity. This ensures a place in our identity going forward without worrying about the language disappearing.
I am working on a pedagogical structure to demonstrate my points about principled language learning and how it can exist in our identity.
In this post I would like to explore what a Gaelic Consciousness might look like outwardly, assuming that it was projected from a deeper place in Mind.
Firstly, it would be something which we would be more comfortable with. At the moment there is a hysteria that Gaelic is something which we will lose shortly or will be robbed from our psyche (although I doubt many people hold Gaelic in such a deep place). This can be broadly compared to the 20th century hysteria which existed between Catholic and Protestant tribal mindsets in Northern Ireland and West Scotland (ironically, propagated by religious opinion in the Gaelic world) If we ensure Gaelic is projected from a deeper place, then we can ensure a peaceful existence with it, which in turn will ensure a peaceful existence with other people too.
Secondly, as the subconscious part of our Mind is communal, there would be a greater respect between people of the language as it will exist as an identity deeper than simply cognitive where we compete with each other. This would be further propagated by a spiritual practice which I have suggested may be a correct use of Art, Poetry, Creativity and other such things to ensure that Gaelic has a spiritual place in our lives. This does not have to interfere or deflate any current religious practice but it should be something which is propagated from the Creative Mind. As such the future of Gaelic may also mean a flourishing of the Arts on a scale not seen previously. That may give rise to a political sentiment so great care needs to be taken with the actual product which is no way designed to injure anyone. This will also help to link Gaelic to our Tribal past where the Druids were known for the Arts.
Thirdly, it would seem the natural outgrowth of this would be some kind of peaceful living shared experience, what that looks like remains to be seen but could be some kind of environmental respect for the countryside or more activities taking place in the Islands and Mountains to nurture identity by shared creative experiences which would need to be expressed practically to ensure that it moves forward in the functional mind as well.
Although this looks like a long way off, we can actually begin to propagate this now, by choosing to engage in creative practices related to expression of language. As we know the Arabs have a very beautiful way of expressing calligraphy, this is perhaps one place to start.
I don´t think there is any point pushing Gaelic on to other people mechanically as this becomes simply an ego trip and political agenda from well meaning but misguided egos. A better approach would be for Gaelic to be visible and let it work based on attraction rather than force. There is great power in passivity. Having said that, we do need to protect the work already done, so I am not suggesting any kind of movement away from political discussion.
Whilst these ideas will be the subject of much humour amongst some, for the language to survive I really don´t think we have a choice unless we simply want to make a very defensive personal political approach which will do nothing other than create a chasm between parts of our own country as well as our relations with everyone else beyond the borders.
Kilbirnie War Memorial, unveiled in 1922 by General Mathew of Place. He is buried in the Knox vault in Kilbirnie old cemetery, It sits next to the huge grave stone of William Knox, (the largest in the old cemetery)
Mr and Mrs Tod (middle) with Frank Fraser (R)
I’ve been writing poetry about Kilbirnie and the area for many years now. You can see all of them here on my site. This one is about the Rowan Tree which was in my Grandfather’s garden in Castle Drive. Its likely still there.
In the shade of Grandpa’s house
There stood a Rowan Tree
Where my Brother tried to climb
With Rosalyn and me
Every day my Grandpa came
Admired towering boughs
While we as children playing there
Saw darkened twigs and crows
Shadows hung upon his life
With towering darkened power
Yet we as children plain could see
Their withering every hour
Its leaves held back the sunshine light
Its branches stern with years
Sitting with his chair and pipe
It calmed away his fears
Yet we as children playing in sight
Saw only twigs and leaves
Revealing more of sky to us
Than he could ever see
We pointed up at shafts of light
Throughout the darkened power
Whilst he preferred the shaded glade
To pass the wakened hour
We saw sun and endless days
Upon his chair he sat
Despite the passing years it stood
The tree was sound at heart