Trip To Scotland
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
So, now I'm going. I've got my plane tickets, got a car rented, and bought software that is designed to teach British kids how to drive. That other side of the road thing is a bit intimidating.
I've also been reading. I've got a book and tape to learn some Gaelic, and I've been reading up on Scottish history and culture. I've finished a wonderful book by Michael Newton called A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World that really focuses on Gaelic culture and the effects of the Clearances on Scottish ways and Scottish life. You can read more on the author's website at www.saorsamedia.com.
The book again reminded me that the English part of my heritage has virtually never had a helpful encounter with another culture. We have always been about forcing others to do things our way in the name of "civilization." As a result, we are a great bit more uncivilized than we would have been had we realized that there is more to life than wealth and productivity. We are doing it again now with Arab cultures. The book made me start humming, "Where have all the flowers gone...when will we ever learn, when will we ever learn." I'm also about half way through Adomnan's life of Columba.
I will be in Scotland for 37 days...from July 26-Aug. 31. For three weeks I will pastor the Methodist church in Stirling and then I will head to the island of Iona for a week.