The Rock of Cashel


These ruins form their own text, conquestís layers settling into glyphs. An archaeologist, I dredge up a history ashamed to be recalled, and I too feel unworthy to translate its manuscript. Something unsettles here. Its passages are recorded in remnants, the layout of the land composed of many interlinked genres. Different periods fight for precedence, and a presence of its pagan days still lingers. I feel the marks of its many metamorphoses. The story of these fortress stones is one of transition, the very word Cashel deriving from Caiseal ñ a place of safety. Here hallowed ground protests its own occupation. A stone basin carved to collect sacrifice blood is reversed to make an altar, the corporeal is converted to wafer bodies. The graves of many cultures are housed in this architecture. This church is rendered roofless by a twice-burning fire. This land is still being warred upon. Unable to condone the methods of my motherís religion, I look for guidance to the stoic stones.