Monday, April 8, 1996

Bolinas Journal: Easter Monday

Easter Monday, after last night in Forest Knolls, I headed to Bolinas to escape the cigarette smoke, my aunt is a chain smoker, only to find Herman Berlandt and Verona Seiter in bed like two little mice after midnight. Too tired to return home, I headed off to the monk's cell, a toolshed with a bunk, to sleep like a babe, dreaming of Celtic hero warriors. 

I kept saying in my sleep they forgot about Eochaid. What about him? As if saying his name a millenia after his death would resurrect him. (Eochaid means horse). 

I slept long and hard, perhaps nine hours, I haven't been able to do that in ages. I was glad to be free of the oak pollen dusting my roof, I can at least breathe a little more fully, escaping the itching eyes. Perhaps that is why I dream so hard. Who is Eochaid Feidlech, the high king of Ulster, and why is he haunting my dreams? This is what comes of reading about the ancient Celts until all hours. 

How many years has it been since I took that anthropology class at SF State? 20 years ago, and it's just now jelling? Though much has come to light since 1976, I'm still reading an anthropology book published in 1957, working backwards from the skeptics, and tempering the work of new age nonsense, and wannabes, with a more enduring science.

Herman brings me a cup of coffee. Verona's a little miffed that I had barged in last night, but I didn't want them to think I was a robber. We catch up on gossip Saturday's River of Words event was a six-hour marathon success. 

A San Francisco six-year-old won the national poetry contest. It was about sun and clouds and Susan Sibbit was his poetry teacher. I guess none of my kids placed. Poet Laureate Bob Hass is doing a good job, says Herman.

Now I am more fully able to comprehend the information on the Celts now that I've walked the ancient shores and have swum in the Danube, and visited the museums of Europe, and Eastern Europe and Russia. It all comes into play, what I recognized as Celtic place names, in other languages. I don't understand the many languages of the museums I visited, but art only needs the language of the eye to find recognition. 

To think I have been to Bohemia, the Russian steps, the Ukraine, finding artifacts that spoke to me of my own culture. Connections to the Caucuses, and the Pontic Steppes. Horsemen of the steppes, wagon burials, Bosnia, reference to the Scythians and the Cimmerians begin to fall into place. 

I am a surviving member of the Celtic nations, having something in common with Native Americans, folk customs nearly lost, due to repression by the Anglo world. Always, we come back to the horses as central to our culture. 

And the horseman who came from the East to destroyed Gimbutas' matrilineal culture? Now I must read of this too. Do our ancestral memories contain the memory of treks across the steppes, on tarpaulins in southern Russia, Indo-European warriors from the Asiatics steppes?

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