Thursday, October 24, 2013

Toradh caithimh tobac--ba`s

That's what it says on the Malboro Gold Originals I've been smoking for two weeks. I bought a carton at the Duty Free Shop at the Dublin Airport. If I'm doing the Euro-Dollar exchange anywhere near right, the ten packs of cigarettes cost about $4 a pack, less than half what they cost in Cheshire.

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.....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.