"Where Does the Light Go When the Candle Is Blown Out?" ~Medieval Mystic
My proclivity towards the ancient world and the treasure lain hidden therein led me to the finding of these threads of meaning which weave through history and in the lives of the Celts. Lineage and this seeking became one of many stepping stones in uncovering their world and those around them. Along the way, there have been many detours that perhaps at first seem to have nothing to do with the Celts. In exploring the nature of remembrance I found not an ephemeral concept of the past, but a collective which resides in our memory. Having not limited myself to only these gregarious people we call the Celts, I drew in from the transitory world around them, the people and events they shaped and that shaped them, learning through immersion and the revealing of long ago places why certain happenings became events, passing out of obscurity.
November 2006 Sweetheart Abbey, New Abbey, Scotland The early morning mist rises as I walk these ancient grounds. I feel so keenly the presence of the modern age and yet I too see the pathways my ancestors left, the old ways that are never forgotten, where this kindling comes from within. Devorgilla, Lady of Galloway, established what was originally called New Abbey as a Cistercian Abbey on 10 April 1273, in memory of her husband John. Love for her departed husband extended to her carrying his embalmed heart around with her in an ivory box with enameled silver trimmings and she was buried with it beside her. In tribute to her devotion for her husband the monks at the abbey chose to call it Dulce Cor, Sweetheart Abbey. She was the mother of the Scottish King John Balliol and grandmother to another Edward Balliol and on her mother's side was a descendant of King David I. Margaret, Maid of Norway, the next in line to the thrown died while on her way to Scotland, should Lady Devorgilla had lived instead of dying eight months before her, she would have been the candidate for the crown of Scotland.
May/June 2008 Midsummer the midway point between Beltaine (May day) and Lúnasa. The Celtic day began at dusk; the fires extinguished and lit at Beltaine would be silenced and lit again at the solstice. Futures were read from the number and appearance of the bon fires. Sun wise processions asking for protection were held in the fields, while St. John's Wort, considered the 'blessed plant' in Wales, was gathered and placed over the doors of houses and buildings and in Scotland cast into the fires.
THE BLACK WOODS
August 2006 Time and place unfolding over, under and around one another, the possibilities held in just one moment. Could it be that at this very time, this very place, I am witnessing a moment out of time take place? August 2007... time and eternity, the mind's ability to perceive things as if they are, though they are not..."Our revels are now ended. These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air and, like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve and, like the insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our little life is rounded with sleep. " ~Shakespeare, The Tempest
BONNY WAS THE LADY (THE LEGEND OF CONG)
August 2005 ...living for centuries the legends and imagery of the old ways and beliefs have called out to those that come after, I am pondering Samuel Lover's version of The White Trout and am caught as the lady, by this our enduring quest for love, life, and happiness. Here is the right we all hold dear to and maintain as expressed by the Celts centuries ago, that love, even if appearing as an illusion, once chosen is not forgotten and remains our choice, it is as we choose it...looking past I see the bonny (beautiful) lady of tradition still alive in the hearts of every man, woman, and child, it is to the dream we hold near and yet it is that which seems far away.
June 2006 1071 Manzikert, Turkey, Present day Malazgirt, the garrison town where the Byzantine Empire and Alp Arslan would met out a fate that historians say changed the northeastern Mediterranean decisively, setting off a movement of people and ideals in the former heart of Byzantium. The battle at Manzikert is considered one of the root causes that led to the later crusades as the Byzantine Empire was no longer the protector for eastern Christianity. As a group of migrating Celts joined the schism in the east, under the setting day the Normans were invading the west. ~You are not in sight; though breath does stir the wind, I scatter my days before you.
September 2006 I am reading John O'Donohue's book Anam Cara and exploring the idea of memory and its importance to the Celts. He raises a fascinating question, "Is there a place where our vanished days secretly gather?" Visiting the temple of memory is not merely a journey to the past, but an integration of everything that has happened.
EVE OF NIGHT
July 2006 In the gospel of Thomas I have come across a verse that aptly points to the struggle of the Celts as they migrated through the eastern world and into Europe. The Romans in particular felt it their duty to be rid of these people and their strange customs, attacking these settlements and sending those left behind fleeing into the night. Looking through the mirror of desperation that must have been felt to our present day, the events are different and all at once the same. I could not help but think as I made my way through this ancient world of the accounts that would "progress" the world forward to those who were witnesses and those who were left behind. "O King of the starry sky, Lest thou from me withdraw Thy light- Whether my house be dark or bright, My door shall close on none tonight." ~Medieval Irish
February 2008 Following the early Celts and the appearance of the Romans in Britain, I come across the first literary reference made by Greek historian Hecataeus of Miletus in 517 BC giving the Celtic peoples the name of ΚΕΛΤΟΙ (Keltoi).
December 2007 Engaging circles of time, the many roads that lead back and forward, lead to home. There was not a particular event or happening that inspired this piece, but rather a culmination on the themes of love, home and the stillness we sometimes forget to incorporate into this day in age that was a daily occurrence for our ancestors, perhaps not by purpose but more by the circumstances of their times. The symbolism of the Celtic knot to me represented the never ending stillness and voice that waits to lead us home (or the sense of, however we term it) when we are far from it, as endless as the knot itself.
CREDITS AND THANKS
I am awed at the breadth and scope of this first project. It has been a long, arduous journey not without its many detours, bumps and turns but most memorable because it was filled with happenstance. I sincerely thank all those listed below and those who have listened, helped, inspired and lent their talents. I am blessed to have made this first expedition with you. The journey is far from over; indeed it has only just begun.
Produced By JILLIAN LADAGE
Assistant to the producer: Ryan LaDage
Recorded and Mixed at: Smart Studios, Madison, WI, United States
Recording Engineer: Beau Sorenson
Mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc., Portland, ME
JILLIAN LADAGE Vocals: Tracks 1,2,3,4,6,7,9/Piano: Tracks 2,4,6,7/Keyboards: Tracks 1,2,6,7,9/Harp: Tracks 3,5,6,8,9 RYAN LADAGE Acoustic Guitar: Tracks 2,4,5,6,7, MARK WYSE Drums: Tracks 2,6/Percussion: Tracks 4,7 MARY GAINES Cello: Tracks 2,4,5,7,9TODD HAMMES Bodhran: Tracks 2,4 Percussion: Tracks 1,5,6,8 Tabla: Track 5 CRAIG HEILMAN Uillean Pipes & Pipe arrangement: Tracks 1,9 COREY KLUNK Hurdy Gurdy: Tracks 2,5/Clarinet: Track 6 MATT RODGERS Upright Bass: Tracks 2,5,6,7 CHRIS WAGONER Violin: Tracks 2, 4, 5 Viola: Track 7
Logo: Denise Wyse Photography: Nancy Merkling Photography Permissions: Cover Photo, Lakeside Legacy Arts Park; "O King of the starry..." Kindling the Celtic Spirit by Mara Freeman, granted by Mara Freeman
"Like as the waves towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end; Each changing place with that which goes before In sequent toil all forwards do contend."
~Shakespeare Sonnet 60