Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Iona is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.
I read a novel MANY years ago about Saint Columba, or Collum Cille, who set up camp on Iona and missionaried the Scots in the mid 500's. I bought all the CDs from the band titled Iona.

Disjointed as usual... I said "on Iona" becasue it's an island - a small island off a larger island off the coast of Scotland.

I don't remember which came first for me, the love of Scotland itself or the interest in Iona and Celtic Christianity, but taken all together it has been a huge influence/interest/part of my life for many years.
I discovered Sir Walter Scot after reading the Betsy-Tacy books (which I was given the first of at a church Christmas party when I was 8, I think) and he was required reading for them but Betsy had already read and loved Scot. So I started Ivanhoe but it was a bit tough... Then one time I was staying with my Missionette leader Carol Kellner and she had CABLE (oooooo) and I got to see the old Ivanhoe movie and it inspired me to read the book again, so I did that time. And then when I was in England before, with Mom and Dad, I bought the full set of Waverly novels, and "Tales of a Grandfather." I like Robert Louis Stevenson and read David Balfour out loud to my Dad once.

And then I finally started Stephen Lawhead when I was 15 (and I know Ganeida has a bone to pick with him, but I think it's because she hasn't really read it ;-P ) and got all wrapped up in the Celticness of things, and it just goes on.

So don't misunderstand me. I describe myself as "a bit of an Anglophile" but when it comes down to it, I'd choose Scotland over England anytime. I still can't believe they beheaded Charles. And then when James VI finally took over he turned English and more or less left Scotland cold! Argh!

But to the point of this whole blather.
My virtual friend, Kim, is giving away a set of CDs from Vision Forum's trip to Scotland a few months ago. And this opened up a bit of a sore spot with me. Because I'M IN ENGLAND. I'm RIGHT HERE, and didn't get to go with the tour up to (drumroll) IONA. I'd heard a vague rumor someplace that VF was going to Scotland, but I checked the website, the blog, the calender of events several times and there was NOTHING about it. At least they could have said "Yes, we are going, but the tour is full too bad suckers" but there was not a single mention of it. Then, all of a sudden, they are reporting live from Iona. It's on the blog, on Everyday News, in the store... And it just made me sick that this is one VF event that we actually could have been a part of, but weren't. Of all the places I'd love to go, and probably will go on our own (which will be interesting enough, but lacking in the spiritual significance without the historians and preachers there to guide us), and we were already here when they came - we could have met them at the airport with fresh cookies! - and we missed it.
So, Kim, if you actually come over and read this, can you give Mr. Phillips a big old punch on the arm for me and tell him he'd better come back next year and advertise this time! Well, maybe be nice about it, but still.
So there, I blogged about it. :-) Yes, all the yelling is done tongue in cheek. And thanks, Kim, for the reminder to go check out the balladeer's music and all the other stuff I wanted to do when it was breaking news.


Ganeida said...

Dear,dear, dear...Unfortunately I have read Lawhead; the man had Roman tendencies! ;P We need a long space of uninterrupted quiet to argue this one out & when are we going to find that between the number of children we own?

In my next life I am going to be rich enough to indulge my fantasy of doing GB by standing stones ~ so yes Iona is on my list. There are some interesting books round on Celtic spirituality, some better than others. Some are very Quaker in outlook. I have a book floating round on How The Irish Saved the West ~ or some such title ~which deals with how the Irish monks preserved & recorded western literature etc while the hodes over ran Europe. And then of course there's the culdees who are very interesting... now look what you've done! Got me started again. *sigh*. I have work to do, woman! Nah, one of these days you & I are going to have a good gab~fest!

MamaOlive said...

"one of these days you & I are going to have a good gab~fest!"

I sure hope so.
The funny thing is, when I first asked you if you knew Lawhead (oh so innocently) it was because your writing reminded me of him. Don't hang yourself! It was a compliment. I also think it's funny that you got mad at him for putting Taliesin in the story, but the link you sent me for info on Ganeida also had Taliesin as mentoring Merlin. hmmm. Give me some good research sites/books to delve into.
But really, is it worth arguing over?

Sometimes I just hope C.S. Lewis had it right - that Heaven is Earth bigger and better. Then I can explore and understand it all without getting tired or fussy or distracted.

Ganeida said...

Lol. Yes m'dear but Talisen came AFTER Arthur. He was a 6th century poet. Arthur was a 5thC warlord. My bone was never with Lawhead's writing ~ only his history! There appear to have been several Merlins as well ~ or poets using that name or poems being attributed to *Merlin* And no, it's not worth *arguing over* but it makes for interesting discussion if you like that sort of thing. ;) Hmmm, I'll go through my library & e~mail you some titles. You may be sorry you asked. However, if you get a translation of The Four Ancient Books of Wales (unless of course you read Medieval Welsh) you can read the *Merlin Poems* for yourself as well as Talisiens. Be warned: celtic ideas of poetry are not ours. A good translation will explain which poems are considered authentic for the period, which have been meddled with & which are out of period according to language changes.

I do hope I get to have it all explained one day ~ just to tie up all the loose ends in my head; maybe I'll get an entirely new head?

MamaOlive said...

Is the book called "How the Irish Saved Civilization"?
I just ordered a used copy online.

Ganeida said...

Yep! That's the one. Very readable & interesting! I do hope you enjoy it. Please let me know. I will hunt up my copy & do a quick re~read so I can comment intelligently. :D

LC said...

I'm SO lost right now.

MamaOlive said...

Sorry to lose you, Lorella. I tried to give the whole background of why this is a big deal... Maybe I gave too much background? Anyway, I guess I didn't win the giveaway after all, but I got another book recommendation, so the whole thing wasn't without its merits. :-)
One of these days I'll have more than one actual conversation per year and remember how to really communicate with people...