Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

The Dagda’s Track

The Dagda cup _ ceramic - made by Chris

The Oak of two meadows

The rightness of Four Angles

Come Summer, Come Winter

Mouths of harps and bags and pipes

And didn’t that harp fly? Like a spring storm that scatters the blossom of apples. Like an Autumn wind that whips the waves into flowers of foam.

Oh, yes, that harp flew, its melodies bound and silent , locked within its oaken frame until my hands could caress it into the tunes of true telling.

The harp flew to my hands and no man could stand in its way, no enemy keep it to himself.

Under my fingers the harp sang its three tales.

It sang of the shaping of mountains, silver lakes and the enclosing of plains.  It sang of a people and their crafting, of the bright jewels of smith-craft, building, healing and history. It sang of joy, and justice and victory.

But every tune must change, and the harp began its second tale.

For every good judgement implies a false, every praise word implies a satire. And the harp played a tale of loss, of famine, a time of dearth and darkness when the mountains were thrown down and all lakes were parched dry. Then came a time of battle in word and deed, and the keening of sadness was heard in the land.

But every tune must change, and change, and change again. And now I play the tune of sleep, of rest. The joy is replete, the sadness is complete, and now all things wait in rightness in justice to seed, reseed and sprout again.

And in the waiting, the time between, I sing the song of my own story, of abundance, green growing and merriment.

I sing the song of the overflowing fullness of my own belly, bag-full of the meal of hospitality, of a playful girl and her abundant body and wicked wit, and before and beyond all, the Woman, her nine tresses flowing like the waters between her white thighs.

And I hear her speak the words that will set all time flowing once more.

The over-brimming cup is set upon the plate.

And in the lowing of time comes the heifer, leading the prosperity of the land behind her. The Glas Gabhann returns to me, to my land, to our people and the time of waiting is over.

This is a right judgement and all will be well once more, until the time we sing the next story, and the next, and the next.

Is this not a story worth the telling?

Chris Thompson

Nov ’12

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