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Grandma's Back

When I started singing Danny Boy should have known that Grandma had come to visit me again. Not the grandmother who I often write about, but the one I never knew. It happened last year on the day she left this world 100 years ago. I'm not sure why she's visiting me but it might be to have me remember where I come from, though those roots seem so distant and insignificant, especially compared to my Japanese side.

I do resonate with descriptions of the Celtic mind as not separating what belongs together and articulating the inner friendship that embraces Nature, divinity, underworld, and human world as one. I feel the Celtic sense of ontological friendship that yields a world of experience imbued with a rich texture of otherness, ambivalence, symbolism and imagination. And feel what John O'Donoghue wrote: "For our sore and tormented separation, the possibility of this imaginative and unifying friendship is the Celtic gift."

As I am about to embark on a pilgrimage to Japan, I reflect that what is perceived as "Japanese" may also be Celtic, such as the samurai way of viewing death that is echoed in the Celtic sentiment that friendship with death enables us to celebrate the eternity of the soul, which death cannot touch. I sense that knowing my grandmother through Celtic wisdom may help me to connect with my forgotten or neglected inner wealth. It could help me become whole, enabling me to come home to myself and learn to rest within.

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