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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law will be enforced in the EU beginning today. It gives people “The right to be forgotten,” which I assume means you could wipe out all online information about yourself. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It is also quite a nuisance for American companies, since some of the biggest tech giants have their European headquarters in Ireland. But let’s face it, in an age when our Facebook data can be sold to Russia for their treasonous purposes, we’d all like to see “Privacy” right up there with Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms.

As we were driving home yesterday, Bob said that some electronic billboards will be set up to read your car’s license plate as you meander by, and then custom design ads for you! If you’re driving a Beemer, you’ll get a Tiffany ad – a Jeep might get an Orvis ad. Remember that Tom Cruise 2002 sci-fi movie Minority Report, where he plays a cop who gets the data about an intended murder, and so he arrests the guy?

I remember a scene in the movie where Tom’s walking down a street and the ads are changing as everybody passes them, it’s like that. Now.

But back to Ireland and the soul-searching companies like Google are faced with, here’s an answer: if the Irish vote to repeal the 8th Amendment that bans abortions in the country, then stay and change your privacy laws. Today is the vote. It’s that simple because women’s rights are human rights. Disney told the state of Georgia they would move production to another state if they didn’t comply with LGBTQ rights. Why can’t ethics become a major component of big business? When our governments fail us, capitalism may be able to right our ship.

And in other news about Tom Cruise, the Rocker just finished scoring original music with the theme song for Mission Impossible 6 Fallout. As a kid, I loved Mission Impossible, it was exciting and you never knew if someone was who they say they are. They might rip off a face mask and ta da! Like our Pumpkin tearing off his Hulk mask and showing off his muscles, transformation is a big part of the American Dream. But let’s face it, we are all changing – retiring, traveling, downsizing, aging – transforming our empty nests to at-home gyms.

“This message will self-destruct…” now that was one good privacy feature.

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Last night I met a stranger at a wedding. In the midst of glamor and cocktails,

We stood our ground and spoke profoundly about our journey.

Maura arrived at this spot, beneath the mountains via a sandy beach.

Still it wasn’t the sand that held us captive here.

It was our heritage, our ancestors from Ireland. She wanted to go back,

That longing was our introduction, so I told her about Deirdre;

Who runs a hostel on Achill Island, and Deirdre’s beautiful, old Mother

Who once taught Irish – the real Gaelic tongue – to schoolchildren

And their black and white working sheepdog howling at the TV,

Eating leftovers from the table, who must be gone now.

Maura’s two girls were Irish dancers, but without the wigs.

Caitly I must bring you there, to meet our family, your family,

To be surrounded by the warm and loving cousins

My Great Grandfather left behind in County Mayo “God Help Us”

When he was 19 years old in 1854 with four pounds sterling.

Can he see where we are now? Are the fields of Ceide missing his bones?

Last night Maura became a friend, and we hold a small piece

Of each other always in our hearts     IMG_3384

This is the poem I’m submitting to the Library of Congress’ Juan Felipe Herrera’s Poet Laureate project La Casa de Colores! You can enter too, just write about your Familia:

Theme for Oct. 15-Nov. 14, 2015
“Migrants: Portraits and Friendships”
Every inch of this land is woven with migrant trails. These are pathways from family to family, country to country, and most of all heart to heart. For this month, find a trail and travel through it to a new dream. What do you see in your travels? And how do you make friends along the way? Describe for me in the language of poetry—migrate into new words, use new landscapes of images.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day to you and yours. It doesn’t matter if you make corned beef and cabbage tonight, or soda bread – recipe for the authentic loaf here: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to-make-real-irish-soda-bread.aspx

And it’s OK not to wear green, or drink a green beer, or eat a green bagel either.

Just pucker up and kiss me if you see me today, cause I’m Irish and worthy of a little smooch!

The priest at Sacred Heart Parish told me I had “The map of Ireland all over your face!” One of my first memories in fact, after Sister Mary Claire in 1st Grade smacking my knees with a ruler for chewing gum in Mass, was being singled out in class for my looks. Nobody laughed, thankfully. The priest’s comment was meant as a compliment I’m sure, but it left me wishing I could blend into the woodwork.

With my red hair, and the freckles all over my nose…I prayed for dark hair, to be like everyone else.

But that didn’t work, and so I grew into my Irishness. After all, it’s rare today to find anyone 100% anything, we are all a conglomeration of ethnic genes in this country, a rainbow of assimilated cultures. Our diversity is what makes us strong. And my wish has come true btw, we have a little ginger grandson! Who is so handsome, the Bride will need a shillelagh to beat the girls away from him (this was a saying in the Flapper’s house about my brother Michael, (let it be said I’m against domestic violence of any sort)!!

And for the first time ever, this year the LGBT community could march in the Boston parade. So let’s all celebrate today because we’ve got a great Pope, the crocus are up, and Spring is right around the corner. Because it’s good for the species to be different. Yesterday it was 80 in Cville!

And I’ll raise a glass of tea to Bob, who is like a saint. He can single-handedly remove poisonous snakes from our yard and find anything I happen to lose.

Here is a picture of me with the Lynn matriarch in Ballina County Mayo, “God Help Us.” I was just getting over West Nile on my first trip to Ireland, and this is our family’s ancestral home on 600 acres. The barn is bigger than the house, and like the Irish people, our hearts are bigger than anything!  Chris and Mary Gilboy Old Homestead 20150317 BIf you’d like to follow my Kiss Me I’m Irish Board on Pinterest, I’m @mpjamma

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I am going to sit on a rock near some water

The Ivy Farms Book Club has asked its members to bring a poem to share at the next meeting. I chose to bring a poem by Billy Collins, our ex-Poet Laureate, who will be a keynote speaker at the KilKenny Arts Festival in Ireland this year. http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/billy-collins-when-i-start-a-poem-i-assume-the-indifference-of-readers-1.1891332?page=1

“When I start a poem, I assume the indifference of readers,” he says. “That there might even be a touch of hostility. There is a line from a Patrick Kavanagh poem that really resonates. It goes: ‘Tomorrow’s Wednesday. Who cares?’ Well, the reader can’t be expected to be interested in your life, the life of a stranger. The job of the poet is to seduce the reader, to make sure they are interested, to make something happen for them that is unexpected.”

When I write I rarely think about the reader, about cajoling her or him to like me or the content. I admit as a journalist I sometimes did, but today I write to make sense of things, I write to flex a muscle in my mind. I figure if the reader doesn’t like what I’m saying, he’ll stop reading! I hope this doesn’t seem cruel dear reader, but I’d rather not presume anything as I begin to write. That’s why I won’t check email or social media when I sit at my desk – later for that. I like to leave that morning space open for the muse of inspiration which will sometimes take hold of my fingers and take me in another direction.

Still I understand poetry may need a bit of a nudge. I like Mr Collins simply because he abhors obscurity or obfuscation in his verse. If he happens to be chopping parsley while listening or thinking about something else, it will find its way into his poem. And he is not writing for someone in an ivory tower, he feels the need to “seduce” us, the general public, with his words. And who doesn’t like to be seduced?

and I am going to stop talking

Last night Bob and I were laying out on the deck in total darkness, we were moon bathing. We wanted to see some shooting stars because it was time for the Perseid meteor shower. It was a perfectly clear night; we stopped talking and watched the enormity of the sky and its brilliant stars. On cue, stars began streaming from one spot in the solar system to another, in the constellation Leo, lying northeast of our ridgeline. I began to understand VanGogh. images

Then Bob said, “Do you hear that?” It was the sawing, symphonic sound of tree frogs chittering away at the edges of our star show. And the silence was broken as he told me more about his boyhood time at Four Bridges, and how much he loved that sound in the midsummer night.

I Love the sound of your voice

like a little saxophone

telling me what I could never know

unless I dug a hole all the way down

through the core of my self 

That was a verse in Collins’ poem “Orient. The other snippets are from “A Question About Birds.”                    Everyday Moments Caught in Time  

Sitting on a Bench to Watch Geese

Sitting on a Bench to Watch Geese

 

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We’ve been to Ireland twice. The first time right after I survived my bout with West Nile, and the second time was to take the newly graduated Bride on a trip to our ancestral homeland. It was my brother, Michael E, who dug up the Lynn Family tree. The original Michael J Lynn has his portrait on a wall in some bank in Pawley County, PA. It is said he was a “…Democrat, broad and liberal in his views, …filled the offices of collector, an overseer of the poor, and overseer of roads.”

He was a son of a cattle dealer in Ireland, who came over from Mayo to Scranton, PA in 1854 with “…four pounds sterling.” Or about $20. Starting out in the coal mines, he built a mini-empire of farming, lumbering and a butchering business; he owned over 200 acres of land. Michael H Lynn was the second born son, one of 15 children. My Grandfather took over the cattle business. I believe it was frowned upon when my Father, Robert, decided to study pharmacy instead of the meat business. And it was doubly frowned upon by his family when my Father married the Flapper. A widow with 2 children. She may not have been born high enough for their Irish Catholic tastes.

The Irish Cousins


Mary Gilboy is our remaining cousin in Ballina, Ireland; she is a beautiful woman, a widow in her 80s. She was a teacher of Irish who lives on the sheep farm her Husband worked with her son, John. They have a black and white border collie who likes to wind down a day of sheep herding by watching TV in the evening. She has 2 daughters, Deirdre and Fiona. Deirdre owns the “Wild Haven” youth hostel on Achill Island, and Fiona’s family make rugs in the Gaelic way: http://www.ceadogan.ie/.
Mary has brought us to see the Lynn Family Homestead and been wonderfully hospitable on our visits.

The Irish Christmas package is speeding along across the ocean with my long letter and a few CDs of “Dogs” for the kids. And now I can feel the ancient pull of family, the tidal yearning for belonging. No matter the separation, we Lynns are a strong and brave breed.

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