One Night in Connemara

Below are words of a sibling of the lost, retelling the events of a Thursday night in December, 1951. Roskeda, County Galway.

Saint Stephen´s night had always been a great one for dancing and having a great time, this one in particular also brought with it fierce wind and rain. Undeterred by the weather and wearing the brand new suit that he had just got for Christmas, my eighteen year old brother brother Micko along with his best friend Michael (Nellog) Pateen (Conroy) had just left home on their bicycles to break the back of the `twenty eight kilometre´ journey to the dance in Carna, but the wind was so strong and the rain so heavy that they were only gone a few kilometres when they had to turn back, though they did stop to visit with Michael Cole Newell and his wife Kate before returning home. In great spirits, Micko was a world away from what fate had destined for him, just a few hours away now.

I don’t remember much about that night until my mother woke me up at six in the morning and wanted me to go with her to look for Dad and  Micko, she said they went out a few hours earlier to pull the boat up onto the pier after the prior evenings work, they couldn’t do it at the time as the tide had been out. I remember she had a great fire going so they could warm themselves when they got home…. I was surprised to see our dog Rex, because he went everywhere with Micko, he did that night too, but that night he came back alone, he followed Mom and I back to the pier.

With the Dawn just breaking the dark night we headed for the pier, it was so cold and windy, though the rain had let up a little the wind had not, making it very difficult to walk. We couldn’t get near the pier because the tide was so high, I had never seen the tide that high, before or since. There was no sign of Dad, Micko, or the boat. We went to a nearby house in the area of where the boat was supposed to be and asked the people there if they had seen anything, they hadn’t. They had children including a baby in a cradle, the cradle was on the table because the tide had come into the house, there was water everywhere. We went to another house and asked again, same reply, we returned home.

By then word had got around the area that they were missing and everyone started to look for them. The tide had now gone out enough so that people could search farther out. It wasn’t long before they found the first body, shortly after that they found the second not far away. Somebody went to get the priest Fr. Moran and to inform the Gaurds. Telegrams were sent to America and England to let the rest of the family know.

I was fifteen years old at the time, the next few days were just a blur for me, all I remember was the constant crying and sadness. I had three younger sisters at home then, the youngest of whom was five. My brother Patrick was in England working at the time, when he received the telegram saying that his father had died it didn’t say anything about his brother. When he was in Galway waiting for a taxi to take him the rest of the way home he heard people talking about the two men that had drowned in Rosmuc, when he asked what their names were and heard his own brothers name he passed out, it was just too much, even for the toughest man that I ever knew. Patrick said some time later that when he heard his father had died it was bad enough, but when he heard that his brother had also died it nearly killed him.

We had the wake for two nights, it was a terribly sad time. My mother was so broken hearted as were the rest of us. The day of the funeral was the worst day of our lives, when they were putting the coffins in the grave my mother nearly fell in, somebody grabbed a hold of her to pull her back up, it was so hard leaving them there in the cold damp dirt. I started writing about this tragic event in October 2005, it is now December 2006, it was a very hard thing to do but I did it so that future generations would know what had happened, and never forget about two very important members of the Newell family.

Nativitatem Christi.

It is unclear how the recorded time of birth of humanity´s saviour denotes the time of year to run around town in a frenzy, in the effort to give as much money as possible to those whose priority is less about mankind than it is the end of the fiscal year. What is not unclear is that our feverish pursuit of the Christmas wish to cram the Earth with as much useless non biodegradable junk as possible, is nothing less than the successful result of a monkey training program. Considering all of the dramas that are playing out on the world stage today, it is now abundantly clear that what we are experiencing is life in a lunatic asylum.

A central tool in this training program is of course, the television. Now almost exclusively occupied by continuous advertising that passively order what to do, think, wear, eat, whom we should like or dislike, and of course, the endless ‘reality’ and ‘talent’ shows, lest we forget whom it is we should be prostrating ourselves before this week. These shows have fast tracked the process of idolisation from years to weeks, where mere mortals reach iconic status in a matter of days. Upon signing of the infamous contract, these `Icons´, nudged forward by the machine, then demand from their subjects, all the trappings of royalty, with immediate record sales that rival that of Led Zeppelin and Roberta Flack.

Whatever your persuasion, and wether he did in fact exist, the idea of Jesus is very much real. The guidelines that he laid out for humanity made a lot of sense; empathy, care and resistance to tyranny, and the integrity to back it up, what you might call a `true´ Icon. But alas, what are presented as Icons today are of a different calibre altogether, not holding quite the same value.

Beyond the Man central to the Christian story, it´s not for anyone to say what Christmas is, or should be, to any of us, least of all gargantuan industries that use what’s left of our spirituality to manipulate us by pushing our primal urge buttons. But can we agree that what we are told it is, is not what we `feel´ it should be. I wonder what Rembrandt would have expressed should he have been alive today.

Image; Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1646

Break a Leg

You could be forgiven for believing that humanity is on an outward trajectory from the natural order of things. Conversations have been replaced with communication via electronic devices, warm money in a dirty hand after a hard days work now lies in the dust of the past, choosing instead the uninspiring image of cold digits on a screen, even vehicles that used to carry strong animal like personalities, from the engines roar to a predators curves, have morphed into characterless creations of efficiency, with `buttons´ instead of levers and computers instead of the Ear of a trained rider.

We seem hell bent on continuing the futile enterprise of trying to remove the Sacred Animal from Homo Sapien. Whom will always want to mount the wild Bronco, to be thrown, to break bones, to bleed, to scar, to wound, to break, to heal, and to break again. We must die, so we must live, otherwise, why exit the womb at all? it´s certainly much safer in there, plenty of nutrients and cosiness. But no, we burst out of there in a torrent of roaring because we are desperate to experience life in the physical, and every single mad emotion and dangerous enterprise that comes with it.

By now, it should be of no surprise to anyone that there is en masse disharmony in the world, this is of little wonder with so many of us having to conform to unnatural ways of being. Wether its standing in airport security ques, shuffling along like factory farm animals on the Green Mile, (imagine Earth´s other inhabitants queuing), train carriages packed with people but almost totally absent of conversation, or the over consumption of often totally unnecessary medication.

It becomes more and more apparent that all of the ‘dis’ease in the world wether collapsing economies, breakdown of society or spiralling levels of illnesses are all connected to the distance that we have placed between ourselves and the natural world. Adding to the imbalance, is the proliferation of technologies that certainly do not compensate for what they are designed to replace, the exact opposite of a sound trade.

Hard to say exactly when the extraction process first began, but clinging to the beast within even went so far as when we moved from the old vehicle to the new one, we gave her names like; Mustang, Jaguar, Bronco, Ram, Ford Fiesta! ???????, ok, maybe not Fiesta, but you get the point. We are what we are, and the more we try to deny that, the longer and harder the education.


It seems that every other month or so, humans/some extraordinary super telescope, discover another exoplanet that meets the criteria to support life (as we know it), it feels a little surprising that this is so surprising. Estimates range, but a conservative number for the amount of stars, just in our mediocre sized galaxy, is two hundred Billion, with at least an equivalent number of planets.

The word distance fails to deliver when discussing the `space´ that exists out there. Just in our average sized solar system there are vast distances, though very, very tame indeed considering deep space. Our galaxy is determined to be ca 100,000 light years in diameter, which essentially means that if I were to stand at one end, and you at the other, and you were to turn on a flashlight, I would have to wait 100,000 years before that light reached me, even though it would have been travelling at 300,000 kilometres `a second´, for all of that time.

But such distances no longer carry the wow effect of yore, for among the many ills that reckless monetary practises have inflicted upon mankind, the desensitisation that we have developed to what are incomprehensibly astronomical numbers has to be way up there on the list, for example, Jupiter is very far away, but still not quite one Billion kilometres away.

So two hundred Billion planets, again, just in our galaxy, in a universe with hundred´s of Billions of galaxies, equals.., well it equals a `lot´ of planets, it equals a universe packed with trillions and trillions and trillions of planets. That Earth is the only planet among those fierce numbers to have fostered not just life, but intelligent, conscious life, would have to be the greatest long shot in all of creation.

It´s fairly well accepted now that every single subatomic particle in the universe all spawned from one subatomic particle, ca fifteen billions years ago. So to believe that life has only developed on just one of those infinite amount of tiny pieces is nothing short of fantastical. Unless of course, that there is no intelligent life anywhere else in this universe, and that Earth was seeded with life from an intelligence of an ulterior universe.

Either way, we have to agree that wether or not we ever hold in our grasp irrefutable proof of extra terrestrial intelligence, Earth being the one and only grain of sand, of all the beaches and deserts, anywhere on the planet, not just to have fostered life, but to be `saturated´ with all kinds of it, is a hell of a thing, and quite possibly the most hell of a thing in the Universal story.

The Trump House

We are in trouble, from climate change to pollution, increasing stress levels to the increasing toxicity of the eco system, dying oceans to fresh water issues, wealth disparity to world hunger, or from war, to war, to war, to war. The choice of whom we choose to occupy the Oval Office and begin the new era is as important as any throughout history. We need to fill the top job in the top nation on Earth, nothing short of the finest that humanity has to offer will do. We will need to assemble a shortlist of those whom have excelled in all areas of human development, `or´ we could just have the two most corrupt entities in the nation choose one of their lackeys for us.

Now that they have chosen, let´s see, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, what a diverse choice, the best example of what the current occupants of this planet have to offer, a truer representation of what we have evolved into you could not find. While he is presented by the MSM as a joke, I suspect that a lot more people plan to vote for Trump than are letting on, not that he possesses the qualities that `should be´ associated with this particular position, but that he does posses the qualities of a giant bulldozer – a blinder hood is pulled down over the head of the sacrificial lamb, a heavy brick is placed on the accelerator with trajectory set for Washington, the bulldozer sets off, loaded with the hopes and dreams of every lucid citizen that he smashes to bits and pieces that house of ill repute and every snake oil salesman within.

Could it be worse than it is now? – What could he possibly do in four years that would cancel out the cleansing benefits of a giant bulldozer?. I suspect that `finger on the button´ doesn’t literally mean that with one flinch of his little finger he could launch an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile. Also, the lightbulb effect – `Ok, Donald Trump is TPOTUS, we must have really taken our eye off the ball, time to reengage´. The problems are so ubiquitous that the time feels right to send in a giant bulldozer, as a candidate who isn’t bought and paid for (average cost of the top two presidential campaigns = $1B ) with a strong moral compass doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in hell of making it anywhere near the Oval Office. Or maybe this is a Poisoned Chalice, with the scared lambs running back to TPTB in four years, realising, `yes, they really do know best, best not to question their wisdom again´.

Is Clinton any better? It´s only that she is of a different breed. You don’t have to dig very deep to pull out all kinds of questions on this person. Possible federal indictment aside, a quick look at the `Full List of Organisations That Paid Hillary Clinton from 2013-2105´ is sobering to say the least. Regardless of their initial intent, the world has declined at a rapid pace over the period that the Clintons, the Bushes, and the Obamas, have been at the upper echelons of power, it’s time for fresh blood. A vote for the status quo could be interpreted as a vote for the global carnage to continue, just so long as it doesn’t effect `us´.

These are most likely affable people, but what a waste of time to get drawn into the drama of the individual personalities, whom more and more resemble wannabe celebrities than they do career politicians, with late night talk show appearances having as much relevance on the presidential standard as actual results.

As it stands, `None of the Above´ appears as the only responsible choice, `Vote Giant Bulldozer 2016´. Either way, it´s time to wake up….

Authors Note: This rambling was jotted down upon Trump winning the Republican nomination.