Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his sojourn in Northern Ireland'

Video from St. Patrick's Day in Belfast
and a biblical geography lesson

Jon Kennedy  

related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

Previous blog:
The best St. Patrick's Day ever

Report on latest NTAMHS Meeting

Glotube videos



Irish joke: "I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one."


Today is the oldest you've ever been, yet the youngest you'll ever be.

The Nanty Glo Home Page and all its departments are for and by the whole Blacklick Valley community. Your feedback and written or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are welcomed. Click here to reply.

Suitable letters to the Home Page will be considered for publication in the Forum departments unless they are specifically labeled "Not for Publication."

Jon Kennedy's recent book,
C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads, is available for purchase at $2.99. Purchase supports the author'
s planned mission to Belfast, Ireland. Click here to download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf on your PC or smartphone.

JONAL ENTRY 1266 | March 21 2013

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Hav'ilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphra'tes.

—Genesis 2:10:14

A new approach to this blog has sort of evolved in these first days in Ireland, mixing a spiritual or theological-reflective (maybe the Catholic word for it would be "contemplative") thread with a diary of my activities. Since it "evolved" rather than have been intended or planned, I'm not sure it's going to work for very long or, more importantly, whether I can sustain it, but so far I'm enjoying it.

Today's diary component is a video recap of my visit on Sunday of the St. Patrick's Day doings in downtown Belfast. This is through the courtesy of a "doh" moment I had yesterday. When I mentioned to my coworker Marda that I had left behind my camera cable so I could not download the video taken at that time, she offered to let me put the camera memory SD card in her computer's SD card slot and copy the files. Well, doh, my tablet computer has one of those, too. I'm blaming jetlag, but how many weeks that can be pled is up for debate. So here is a few minutes on the streets of a wet, cold, but celebratory downtown Belfast:

Click the > on the video to launch. After the video launches, you can double-click the screen to play enlarge it to full-screen. If your browser cannot open the video in Windows Media format, you can try it on YouTube, here.

The Bible passage I chose today also came to me as something of a "doh" moment. How many times have I read Genesis 2 without noticing its geography lesson? But here on one of the most geographical experiences of my life (my most extended tour abroad), it jumped out from today's Orthodox lectionary Lenten reading.

Bible scholars refer to the emphasis on Caesar Augustus in Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth as an example of the biblical authors' way of authenticating their report, making it historical to differentiate it from a more mythical type of "religious" writing or scripture found in some other religions. And this passage, it strikes me now, is also a way its author (traditionally Moses) is showing the readers over the ages that he is talking about a real place that can be looked for in the area bordered by these four rivers. Everyone in the ancient world of Moses' time knew where these rivers were, where Hav'ilah, Cush, and Assyria were, even as we more than three millenia later still know where Assyria was (present-day northern Iraq) and where the Tigris and the Euphrates are. Eden was a real place. It was the cradle of the human race and the locus of God's first creative acts toward us, and His first covenant and interaction with His creatures, our forebears.

I am now alone in my new home in Belfast, my coworkers the Stothers having flown back to California today for a five-week visit with their family and friends in Berkeley, to attend a relative's wedding, and renew their visas for their next two-year stint. Being alone has advantages as well as the obvious big disadvantage of loneliness. You might also expect that it would be fearful, being a stranger in a strange and often dangerous place, but a long walk around the neighborhood today was more reassuring than frightening.

Being alone also gives me more free time to work on these entries, and the fact that I'm seven hours ahead of the California and four hours ahead of my home-state time zone enables me to work much later in the day than I ever could before and still date the blog with that day's date (and after the UK goes on daylight saving time, I'll have even an additional hour's difference). I've been receiving very encouraging feedback on the first entries on this journey, which I love, and hope you'll continue to share your thoughts.

§     §     §

If you missed my overview of this venture in Northern Ireland, check it out here.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Search site

Enter a name or subject and press return.