Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The edge of Great Blasket

"Many an old woman in Ireland had a nicer place and more pleasant than this, but I prefer this lonely place to any in Ireland. The golden mountains of Ireland are without mist before me. The sea is pouring itself against the rocks and running up in dark ravines and caves where the seals live. We are not disturbed by the noise and uproar of the city. There is a summerhouse around us and we are inside the Summerhouse of Peace. 

There is no picture-house only these lovely things God created, praise forever to Him! Every time I get a chance I give a run to get a view of the things that are most pleasant to my heart.  Little island is before me and white sheep in their fleeces grazing there where my mother remembered, when she was young, milk to be and butter in plenty." 

-- Peig Sayers in Reflections of an Old Woman. Peig spoke for the isolated Blasket community, whose now-ruined homes we walked through on our visit.

P.S. I saw stone walls around some of these steep edges, and asked about them. One of the Gaelic-speaking locals on our boat told me that farmers built the walls to keep their cows from falling off the cliffs, but didn't bother with the sheep.

"Because the sheep are more sure-footed?" I asked. 

"No, because they don't cost as much, so it doesn't matter as much if they fall off," he said.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I can't help but thinking about the internet and how it herds us into corners and the Blasket Island sheep - not worth enough for a wall - falling off the edge. The internet tends to herd us to that wall - less edge, I think.