Elections and the Promise Land


 

Maybe because of the suffering, the Irish always have had an affinity for, an attraction to the bottle. 

I have 2 friends who have read The Pope’s Children by David McWilliams.  One sent me the book which at the time might not have been available in the states.  It is a story of the generation born after the papal trip of John Paul II to Ireland, a story of the Celtic Tiger.  In a sense it is a story of deliverance but of a people broken from the past. 

I am much more attracted to Vanishing Ireland, another book unavailable in the States. The identity of the Irish has always been caught up in the suffering of the people and the real concern for each other and for people who suffered.  Old-timers who have said that they would give up nothing of the suffering that they had had, comparing their lives to The Pope’s Children.

Changing identity.  These were the stories of a nation coming to grips with a changing identity.  I have mentioned my attraction to the stories of the Torah.   Because the Torah was the story of a nation dealing with a changing identity.  It did not seem much different than what was going on around me these days.  People trying to cope with change.  People changed by circumstances.  Deliverance stories in the Promise Land.  People who suffered, in new ways, often invisible. 

When an enslaved people found themselves in the Land of Milk and Honey, they were for the most part changed.  A lot like the people David McWilliams has written about.  Or found in Vanishing Ireland.  

Until recently, the Irish have for the most part been identified with Catholicism.  In a land where the Irish affinity for the bottle often is more for a Guinness than a glass of wine.  I never have seen a bottle of Irish wine sold.  But Catholics were still attracted to the feeling of what wine did to the spirit.  It changed the perception of suffering.  And it was the Resurrection the morning after.  Wine and Guinness for the most part had always been about change, and a new perspective about this life. 

In the New World, the election year was coming to an end.  The theme of change had defeated the other theme which never really had a chance to grab hold.  In the Land of Milk and Honey.  In the land of promises.  People everywhere trying to come to grips with the change.   Politics.  Religion. 

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