|About me .
I have always had a passion for history and for the lost cultures it reveals. It’s the human connection that interests me most; not the lists of dates and names, but the cultural history - what is sometimes called ‘historical anthropology’.
That’s why my first approach to any historical culture is through its literature and, where possible, its music. Great art remains great whether it is five years old or 500. We can still engage with it, and I try to bring lost arts to life through translation and performance. As well as my translations of medieval Celtic poetry (such as The Wisdom of the Celts), I also translate from Latin, Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon. Right now, I’m working on my own retelling of the Norse myths; watch this space for more information!
Of course, we mustn’t let our view of the past cloud our vision for the future. But I do believe that knowing something of our cultural past can help us to understand who we are today. Indeed, who we are now is the upshot of who we once were.
Given my interests and my Scottish surname, it’s perhaps not surprising that I also have a powerful interest in Scotland's clans. The clans are medieval institutions that still exist to this day, and are still recognised in Scottish law. I want to help ensure that they remain relevant in the modern world, not just as a link with our past but as a path into our future. Find out more at my Clans Page.
Recently, I have also got deeply involved in discussions over the future of my own clan, as it heads towards its first Family Convention, or Derbhfine. You can read more on the clan’s complex history and uncertain future at my Clan Ewen page, and I now also have a page devoted specifically to the Ewing Clan. My booklet on the various origins of the MacEwen name, New Notes on Clan Ewen was written in 2009. I’ve also been looking into my more recent family history. It can be a time-consuming hobby, but well worth it. If it interests you, I have a brief page about my Ancestry.
Other current interests include religion and the nature of consciousness, and Scotland’s ‘National Conversation’ as was. And I’m starting to pursue my old interest in writing my own poetry again as well as translating.
I have also written up various jaunts I've been on recently:
Nordic Harp Meeting, Broby Gamle Skole
- sharing a fascination with ancient stringed instruments
in Denmark, 2011
Ewing Family Association Gathering,
Uniontown PA - a description of my trip to join the
Ewing Gathering in 2010
me on MySpace