Why would anyone be interested in the American Civil War? We’ve had so many civil wars since then. As for the music of wars? Marching tunes? Surely there is no point in dragging up memories of times past? There have been too many civil wars.
But tunes linger…
I was a child in Limerick when I first heard the music of the American Civil War. To me, the origin of the melodies didn’t matter much. It was years later when I realised many of the melodies I’d loved were composed in the 1860’s.
War music, the rhythm of soldiers marching to their death, the songs of people left behind & dying on a battlefield never seen - surely it would be better, healthier, to forget all that sort of stuff?
I’d like to share some of my passion for the American Civil War - not the politics of Abraham Lincoln, not the defence of the Union - the music of community.
Here’s a series of 6 audio podcasts…
I hope you find something in them to enjoy and share with others.
Writing an epic poem is epic work - the result may be epic too - or disastrous. I remember spending huge chunks of time in November 2009 - writing this poem in a Moleskine Notebook - as I travelled round Ireland [& UK too].
Recording an audio version of an epic poem is another epic job. I’ve been doing my best. Now it’s reached the 8th stage, canto 8 [I wonder where Dante was at this stage of his epic Inferno?]
You might like to listen to this version [I’m gradually reading it into iPhone & sharing it via AudioBoo.]
What I’d love you to do is listen to some, and write (or audio) a review which let’s me know how you found it.
Homecoming is such a joy. You re-enter your home ground, re-possess your cave, re-prowl your patch…
You cast your mind back over the holiday in Galicia… You want to hold on to memories before they’re swamped by the tide of moving-on. You wish you could keep your grip on the joy it was.
You have loads of holiday snaps, plenty of video clips and even a few AudioBoos to share… You may be about to become a holiday bore.
But, before you do anything, you look in your Moleskine diary. You highlight these special 15 experiences:
- The islands off Vigo
- The beach at Carnota
- Fisterra Lighthouse
- Arousa Lighthouse
- The Castle at A Coruna
- The Tower of Hurcules
- The 9 kms Promenade in A Coruna
- The Climbing Frame outside our hotel in A Coruna
- Pimiento de Padrón
- The Sight of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
- Fisterra Harbour front
- Grace Swimming in the Pool of Hotel Pazo O Rial
- Aquarium in A Coruna
- Valenca in Portugal (across the river from Tui)
- The Ramparts of Baiona
I’ve started using AudioBoo. This enables me to talk to people - or at least broadcast.
I’ve gradually realised many people don’t like to read. They simply don’t love the act of reading. Of those who avoid reading, there are many who love audio.
Irish people particularly love radio.
Maybe I’ve been cut off from many people? Maybe, if there was an audio version of my blogposts, I would be more inclusive - and more popular?
I found AudioBoo by accident, and got into using it via my iPhone. [You can contact the CEO of AudioBoo via Twitter @MarkRock.]
So far I’ve made over 30 podcasts - all raw, unedited, each no more than 10 minutes long. You can find them all here.
Yesterday I made 4 podcasts:
(1) Water explosion in Cork - after the water supply to many people was suddenly cut (1.46mins)
(2) My newest business idea - sharing thoughts from my business life (2.41mins)
(3) Blackrock Castle Observatory today - on my way there: what was on my mind (2.56mins)
(4) Where’s best place to visit in Cork City?(1) - all about Blackrock Castle Observatory & Fota Island Wildlife Park (5.18mins)
I hope you find something interesting & valuable among them. My plan is to keep this up and move towards a situation where there is always an audio version of each blogpost.
What do you think of that idea? Share your view in comments below, please.
I began this blog in 2005. The experience that got me into blogging was the thought that my infant daughter, Grace, might read this some day - she might like to find out a bit about her dad. This blog might also become an interesting piece of family history - even a legacy to her children’s children …
Ten days ago, I was chatting to a friend of a sister-in-law - I’ll call her Sarah. Sarah’s father was born in one country, moved to Africa - ended up in Ireland where he had a career. The more I listened, the more I felt there was a great story in the family. I asked Sarah if her dad would write his story. It turned out her father has written 300 pages - and is looking to publish it.
I offered to help with advice about publishing.
This led to an interesting conversation with the author. He sent me a sample of his writing. I’m going to read it to see what the writing’s like. I have no doubt the story’s there. But, is the writing good enough to capture a wider audience?
If you write for your family, you don’t need an editor - they’ll love the story no matter how it’s written. If you write for work colleagues & associates, they’ll be interested in the content - you won’t need to do much editorial work.
If you want your story to capture the attention of strangers, you have a job on your hands.
There is so much stuff out there, why should anyone read your story? There are too many stories for anyone to read all the good ones. [See Gabriel Zaid "So Many Books".]
It has to be the writing. The quality of your writing better lift the story to another level. You don’t get to be able to do that without a lot of practice - perhaps at least 10,000 hours of practice before you begin to become a good writer?
"A gorgeous child
his heart moved to the other side,
and back again.
We had him in intensive care"
"My third leg was amputated at birth, Mum"
"Wasn’t he rubbed with olive oil too."
"I was a tadpole in a previous life,
lived a short life,
got eaten by a big one,
as happens to most tadpoles.
Taught me one lesson:
’small isn’t always beautiful’.
I met Peadar Clarke this morning. He’s here with Lourdes Kindness Pilgrimage (LKP). He was in a wheelchair - I’m told that’s because of his hips - not a return of the MS.
We had only a few words - he sounded very well. The strange thing is I was chatting on one man about LKP. He was just telling me the Peadar Clarke story - how he fell out of bed, saw a vision & was cured of MS - when along came the man himself. As if he’d been conjured up specially for my benefit.
It’s after lunch on day three of this Limerick pilgrimage. I’m well fed - lunch is a million times better than breakfast in Hotel Solitude. I had the fun experience of being the only one in my party of four to get up in time for it.
This is an intense day for pilgrims. A Mass for the Sick at 1000, followed by quick café time, rush on to 1200 lunch - big queue…
I’m having some quiet time to myself now - tweets & blog - contemplative 25 minutes. What happens next is a sort of communal confession - a "penitential" service in the Rosary Basilica. I’ve not been there yet. Two of us will take mother to that, we’ll then hit the nearest café for ice cream + some sort of treats for the body. Because at 5pm there is a "Blessed Sacrament" procession - mother will be snug and resting in her wheelchair.
Lourdes is for wheelchairs & young people - did I say that already? The rest of us have the developmental experience of struggle to stand upright and keep going. Such struggle won’t do us any harm. Straight after the procession, at 6pm I’m off on the Walking Tour - led by a Fr Liston (whom I’ve been told is a poet). That should fill in a few gaps in the Bernadette narrative - we’ll be taken to some of the places where she lived. (In case you don’t know, Bernadette is the name of the young girl who saw visions of "Our Lady" appearing at the Grotto in Lourdes.)
Dinner is at 7pm - and thankfully the rest of the evening is ours to design.
You might like to see today’s The Cork News article about TransformCork.
The photo in the article was taken by Roger Overall - while he was documenting a Smarter Egg group.
Special thanks to Jonathan Amm from Think-Tank for making this happen. Extraordinary thanks to The Cork News. The article will be there forever as a sort of public reference point - as TransformCork grows over the years ahead.
The TransformCork blog is here: