Resistance: the Mythos and the Logos

The Art of Enchantment

There’s a lot of talk about resistance right now. All kinds of people telling us what we must do, what we must not do, how to act, how we’re bad if we don’t act, how to make a radical act, how to be an activist, how to be the right kind of activist (their kind of activist), how to resist, resist, resist …

Maybe I’m no different, now. I’ve stayed quiet about all this for a good while, but I’m beginning to be disturbed by some of the value judgements I’ve seen thrown out on social media. I’m disturbed mostly because I’ve seen a few angry words directed by people at their ‘friends’ who dare to wonder whether maybe there are other ways of resisting than the creation of civil unrest. Not necessarily better ways – just the thought that other ways might be valid, too, and might still deserve…

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Even in the darkest night the light will come

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Rotkäppchen   Munich 2002  – Galli Theatre    Virginia Gillespie, Grandmother

The bi-lingual version of the fairy tale Rotkäppchen – Red Riding Hood in German and English was often played for audiences with many immigrant children. That same year in Mullaghmore, Ireland we played Hansel and Gretel for an Irish audience with a troupe whose mother tongue was not English. My insight: it is also a story of the Irish diaspora. The Mother (Ireland) was too tired and hungry to feed her children so she sent them into the forest of the New World.

There is great power in the messages of these ancient tales descended from oral tradition. Wisdom of the grandmothers. Following the show I remember speaking with an Irish woman from Antrim which was still plagued by reverberations of the troubles. She had a son with down’s syndrome who she called the sweetest angel in her life. “And when I tuck him in at night and he looks deeply in my eyes just when the veils are thinning I whisper, never fear, even in the darkest night the light will come.”

Irish Playwrights and Brian Friel

Playwright Brian Friel died today. Special moments all round Dublin theatres tonight. This public art piece is in an alley between Temple Bar and the River Liffey. It says, “Around 1610 Shakespeare wrote The Tempest and retired to Stratford Upon Avon where he died in 1613. Queen Elizabeth having completed the conquest of Ireland was dead. The last of the O’Neill and O’Donnell were gone to Spain and Ulster planted with Crown subjects. Between 1613 and the War of Independence 1922 which won back self rule in Ireland, no play of any real merit was written in the English language by any other than by an Irish-born writer.” 

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