Scary stories from a lovely place
It would be helpful if information could be downloaded into my brain a-la ‘The Matrix’. I love reading. I love learning and I love making sense of different information. I’ve never been a particularly quick nor cogent reader, but I have always tried to consume a variety of fiction and truth. This is particularly true at the moment as I get through each busy but often boring day on minimal sleep. And so, I push on through books – reading a lot of words, but unfortunately not taking in as much as I would like.
At the moment I’m reading ‘Irish Freedom’ by Richard English (an unfortunate surname for an Irish political historian. It’s a detailed treatise on the history of Irish nationalism, from the 1800’s until now. It’s a fat, intellectual book and so far I have only read the introduction. I am already hooked. English’s thesis is that nationalism appeals to human nature because at our core we all desire community and this is what being united by culture is all about. I am looking forward to understanding how this works itself out in Ireland.
I don’t know much about Irish history. Of the history I studied at school and university, I didn’t even touch on it. It now makes up half of my son’s culture and I want to understand it so that I can help Silas and Oisín to love it. Stephen takes his Irish heritage very seriously, even though he hasn’t lived there for over ten years. I also want to know it to better understand him.
Stephen is a serious nationalist. He worries about becoming an Australian citizen because it would mean being under the English crown. We were handed down a pair of cute leather Union Jack booties for our son – but under no circumstances could we use them. Stephen’s also seriously into real community – hospitality, sharing meals, giving money/food/clothes to people who need them more, sharing advice, experience and life with those around him. Now that I have read the introduction of ‘Irish Freedom’ I understand how Stephen’s generous personality and his commitment to nationalism hold together.
I’m looking forward to what I will discover in chapter 1.
What are you reading at the moment?