This is Me (poem)

 

How should I bare thee my soul.
Should I tell it through poetry
or art, dark lines etched into white paper.
Leaving the frozen image behind.
How shall I show you myself,
Shall I take a picture of what I like best
Show you designs adorning my nest.
Or shall I simply present myself and say
I am here. What you see,
This is me.

 

 Zoe

Fantasy Dinner Party (Fun)

There is a game in which you pick out your favourite dinner guests, plan out a dinner party in your head; in which you can choose anyone living or dead.  Two conditions that we choose to set for ourselves are real people rather than fictional characters and that you have to fill up ten seats.  Its an interesting puzzle, as it will depend on what and how you like discussion, how the people interact and what topics you find interesting.  Some important factors in your choice are to pick out interesting personalities, how these people would do at a dinner table talking, how they would interact with one another and to match them together so, unless its what your after, certain topics or points of view, don’t overbalance the table.

Caoimhín’s fantasy dinner party guests:

 

Zoe’s fantasy dinner party guests:

 

Caoimhín

A Shaman’s Dictionary (News)

I would like to announce yet again another departure for us, A Shaman’s Dictionary.  I have long been wanting to do a pagan production.  In particular my idea had been a podcast, but with my previous work on In The Brew I decided to try something new and look at doing a video-cast.  For simplicity’s sake I will be trying things out on YouTube and see how it goes.  Because everything is up in the air with us at the moment I can’t guarantee any form of regularity with the different shows.

Video is a particular media and it will make a difference to video, so the format of A Shaman’s Dictionary will be short and encompass a simple discussion of one single concept.  There are many differing pagan shows online but I feel I can contribute and enrich the sphere.  Indeed it is something I feel I have not done right by for far too long.  As a practising Shaman with a very good working knowledge of many different religions, myths, philosophies, spiritual paths and magical traditions my thought had been to highlight, in every show, a concept and to outline its meanings and bring forth a solid cohesive concept for people to take away.  This can help people deepen their basic and fundamental knowledge.

For many pagans philosophical / mental concepts can be at the cornerstone of their faith upon which their rituals and tools are based; for shamanism these concepts are the tools we use to transform and conduct our lives.

To visit the show click here.

To sum up for those of you who want, join us both on YouTube for our regular shows for a deeper view on life.

Caoimhín

Fromelles the sequel (News)

Alright so those of you keeping track will know that recently there has been nothing to keep track of.  I have been quiet across the board, a mix of time-out, no time and no web-time.  If you can recall months ago Zoe left for France well I have now joined her.  I have been employed to work on this project for Oxford Archaeology and hopefully continue on back in the UK with them following this.  It will mean that Clan Raven Cub takes a different slant and we think that, with our personal goals taken into consideration we are focusing on the creation creative / otherwise projects but not on their production.  Still if interested do get in touch.  On top of this my computer blew and our backup too so a lot of our creative work is gone.  But that is more of a time waste than a serious problem.  Unfortunately it does push back my learning of flash but hey ho.

News over.  To the project, not much can be said due to the current and sensitive  nature of the project.  But I feel it important for me to emphasise just how moving and awe-inspiring an event this is to be involved in.  As a historian it has obvious importance, as a student I have learnt so much from the anthropologists present both in terms of archaeology and the evolution of the human form, as a deeply spiritual and ethical individual the scale and the reality is humbling, as an Irish man it blows me away – to empathise with men whose shoes I may well have been in one hundred years ago.  As a human it is one of the… deepest experiences I have encountered.  That is the word that most describes the experience for me.

I am enjoying France, the beer – which I will be doing a special about on In The Brew, the fresh produce to cook with, enjoying working with again and the sense of purpose that comes with earning money for yourself.  I will be looking to write a blogpost for the central site for the project.

Caoimhín

My Father and Epilepsy (Article)

For my Father,

This post is dedicated to my father who has carried the responsibilty for my epilepsy upon his shoulders since the beginning.

While some cases of epilepsy occur as the result of an accident such as a blow to the head in the majority of cases this is not the case. for most people – six out of ten, in fact – there is no known cause. This is called ‘idiopathic’ epilepsy and it is the type of epilepsy that I have. For parents of an epileptic child it can be extremely difficult to accept that there is no real reason for the condition developing. They may feel that there must be some incident, something or someone to blame, something that makes sense. In dealing with my epilepsy my father placed the blame upon himself a burden that he has now born for eighteen years and a burden that it is time to lay down.

I have already described my first fit so I shall merely recap that I was in my backgarden playing football with my father and my brother and like all eight year olds inevitably do I fell down. Watch a bunch of kids any age playing football and it is difficult not to notice they tend to trip up, bump into one another or just fall over their own feet. At one point during that game the eight year old me feel over after bumping into my dad during a tackle. It is this one little bump that has allowed my father years of those ‘what if’ moments.

The answer to that ‘what if’ is easy. If I hadn’t fallen over that particular second I would have managed it a few moments later, or I would have been pushed over at school in the playground or tripped over my own shoe laces. That of course is presuming that I didn’t have my first fit before falling over. Idiopathic epilepsy is there in the brain already, a fall or a blow to the head may encourage a fit but it is not the cause of the condition. When someone is tested for epilepsy they are usually sent for an MRI test. This test can help to find if there is an abnormality in the brain that might be causing epilepsy, for example, scar tissue due to a brain injury. My MRI scans have never shown any sign of trauma or indeed anything unusual at all meaning that there is a slim to none chance that my epilepsy was caused by any trip or bump.

For a long time I felt confused about my fathers guilt. Often I felt guilty myself – after all, if I didn’t have epilepsy he wouldn’t have to feel guilty. For a while during my later teenage years I felt resentful, believing that it was my problem not his or anyone elses. Now thinking back I just feel sad that one of the people I love most in the world has spent so long blaming themselves for something that wasn’t their fault to begin with. So this post is a plea to my father, for Purple Day, let go of all that guilt for good and simply be proud of being the best dad ever.

Zoe

 

 

Purple Day Poster (Art, News)

purple day poster

 

Caoimhin   Zoe

Fromelles (Article, News)

 

Map picture

 

 

Fromelles is the site and name of a famous, or more accurately infamous, World War 1 war site.  The small town is in the north east of France, near to the border to Belgium.  The battle took place between Germany and Britain, of which Australia was a still a part of at that time (see below note.) The inscription on the Australian war memorial there reads “the worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire history,” understandably so after the death of more Australians, 5553, in a single day than any other battle, outside of later battles taking part within World War 1.  Fromelles was to be a divisionary attack for the push at the Somme but this entire attack was unsuccessful, unnecessary and itself a total failure.

Why this posting?  In 2008 eight more mass graves were discovered.  These bodies are to be reburied respectfully at a new cemetery site close to the present site, each body now receiving an individual grave.  Oxford Archaeology will be taking part in this project and Zoe, as a trained osteologist, so far seems to be part of the team they will be sending over there.  The project will begin in late Spring and last until late Summer.

This has obvious impacts on us a group.  It will give us various different insights into being apart and so on.  On top of this Zoe will be working with the recently dead, as they are still classed.  The ideas of these will hopefully lead Zoe to writing some small ideas on what this gives her about life and also how this impacts on her religious beliefs.

This article will act as a small summary of what Fromelles is about for all of those interested that have asked us for more information.

For more information read the very comprehensive article in Wikipedia on Fromelles and the many many excellent and interesting articles by many papers and magazines published online, easily found through a Google search.

Caoimhín

Further:

To clarify as has been pointed out in a comment below Australia became self-governing in the late second half of the 19th century.  The colonies became a federation but were not however independent and were classed as a dominion of the British Empire.  The AIF, Australian Imperial Force, were therefore still British forces.