Last May, 2012, I took my first trip abroad. Passport ready, renewed for the last 3 decades, and finally stamped... in Ireland. It was a personal journey for me, to look into my paternal past, and to see my connection to the Irish culture not shared with me as a young child, just the Korean side. My father was Irish-American, roots solid here, but from what I can tell, a few generations away from "the one" who traveled across the big blue pond.
All I can say right now is that it was a monumental trip. More than I can ever have imagined. Fun as heck. Lots of laughter, music, Guinness, whiskey, and tears of every kind.
Prior to this trip, I read a book, The Celtic Way of Seeing: Meditations on the Irish Spirit Wheel, by Frank MacEowen. I also joined Ancestry.com to see if I could uncover some of the past, but with not much extra time on my hands to dedicate to the research, I realized I needed something else to lean on as a basis for my barometer while in Ireland. And that is when I found Frank's book on Amazon.
Like my review says on Goodreads, which Mr. MacEowen was kind enough to email me on:
book came along at a critical time for me. I planned a trip to Ireland,
my paternal roots, as part of my 40th birthday gift to myself, in search
of learning more about half of my genetic make-up and Irish culture
from the source. Though I had done some initial ancestry research, it
was not enough to go and dig up more info in Ireland, nor did I really
want to in my first trip. It was more about "feeling my way" through
her. I'm glad I did. This book allowed me to use my heart as a compass.
Frank MacEowen provided me with an appreciation and understanding of the
archetypal and Celtic spirituality via each of the five sacred
directions; the Center (our center, where we find balance), East
(prosperity), South (inspiration), West (knowledge) and North (battle).
It has permanently altered both how I see the world around me and how I view myself, with and without an Irish filter. It has opened my mind to the simultaneous multiplicity and unity of all things. It could just as easily have been called, The Celtic Way of BEING.
This morning, I received a lovely email from the author himself. Imagine my surprise! You can read it below. But, if by chance he stumbles on this blog.... I'll end with... Thank you Frank for putting pen to paper, your thoughts on our connection to Ireland or at least how we might learn from her spirit. For me... your book is highly regarded. A beautiful book. Timely when it was read. And still, mapping along the way with me.