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Monday, October 28, 2013

European Reflections

We are just back from our European adventure--Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, France by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles--and busses, trams, and feet. A lot of fun, yes, and so much learned--and, best of all, so many new friends.

I have three sets of reflections that I will articulate in coming days:

1. The first is on Resistance, Rebellion, Revolution, Renewal. I suppose the history of Iceland as a Viking settlement with looted Irish women starts it off. But it was the experience of Ireland with its medieval fiefdoms and feuds, but especially the Republican against Unionist conflict that still continues in its euphemistic "troubles," that fuels most of these reflections. And then the visit of Caen and Normandy and the still living memories of European 100 year and then World Wars that raise questions about my angelic/diabolic human nature and what is in store for humanity. It also renews my vocation to organizing.

2. The second has to do with cities--what is good and bad regarding the cities of Reykjavik, Dublin, Galloway, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Roche Bernard, Kemper, Caen, and Paris that we enjoyed so intensely, the urbanizing of Europe and the world, how it is continuing the evolution of our humanity for good or ill and what my role needs to be in that process as resistant, rebel, revolutionary, and renewer.

3. The third has to do with endings. All's well that ends.Well?  We saw lots of cemeteries, monuments to dead people, cathedrals, castles, and museums housing stories of passing cultures, epochs, achievements. And indeed our sojourn, where every new day, brought with it the adventure of fresh, new sights and smells and sounds, is over. The photos recall the memories, but the day is done, the voyage complete. Now what?

Which leads me to a fourth: a new beginning?