Thursday, October 24, 2013
Toradh caithimh tobac--ba`s
That I still have a pack plus some others after two weeks tells me I don't smoke nearly as much as I feared. Most smokers, when they count, are horrified that they smoke more than they thought. So, give me a break on that, OK?
Yes, I KNOW I shouldn't smoke. And I do. OK? Leave me alone. I'm a priest, I stand with the oppressed and the most oppressed people in the Western world are smokers. I'm just standing with my people....
But since absolutely everything in Ireland has both Irish and English on signs, notices, directions, etc., 'whatever', each pack of cigarettes has the warning "Toradh caithimh tobac--ba`s" on it. The English translation is below: "Smoking kills". You have to admire a language that requires 22 letters to say what 12 say in English. And such wondrous words! When I try to pronounce them (which I can't for the life of me) they sound like Klingon. But if an Irish speaker said them they would sound like a bird song, really. I've listened to Irish a lot and it is a language to be sung, not spoken. English is so mundane in comparison.
No wonder the Irish love song and poetry and story so much--it sounds like birds.
I'm listening as I write this to Maggie, our parakeet sing along with the classical music station we always have on beside her cage.
With a little practice, I believe, Maggie could speak Irish. All birds, it seems to me, are Gaelic in their bird souls.....