Pebbles on the Edge

Pebbles on the Edge
Lake McDonald, 2014

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Landscapes of Mortality: Ruaraidh MacThomais (Derick Thomson)

Glencoe, our last sunrise

"Jessie Weatherston" Kelso Abbey (I think)

Melrose Grey

So...I have been thinking about mortality, about the brevity of life, and how we are never really finished. Perhaps it is this that drives the very engines of human endeavour. Our time is limited by the span of our lives, like breath upon the mirror. We are mist against a triumphant sun, here but briefly, then consumed by time. Dust in the wind...

Derick S. Thomson, Gaelic writer and poet, professor of Celtic at University of Glasgow, died yesterday at the age of 90. The New English-Gaelic Dictionary he wrote (published by GAIRM in 1981) is one of my treasured possessions. He was one of the foremost Gaelic poets of his time, and his influence continues to this day.

"A chionn 's gu bheil am bruadar sgoilte
cha chuir mi mo chridhe air cluasaig,
cha chunnt mi na h-eoin bhreaca
a chionn 's gu bheil an nead creachte."

Since the dream is cleft
I will not put my heart on the pillow,
I will not count the brindled birds
since the nest is raided.

From the poem A CHIONN 'S GU BHEIL by Ruaraidh MacThomais

1 comment:

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