The Burren

The silence of the last two weeks has been precipitated by yet another ten days in Ireland so the next few blogs will feature images from there. Once again there was some moments to remember surrounded by truly wonderful scenery that just begged for lens-attention.

This trip began with a visit to the Burren. If you don’t know, the Burren is a large swathe of area that spreads across much of County Clare and the southern parts of County Galway.

At around 200 square miles, it encompasses a large stretch that goes from Corofin in the east to the Cliffs of Moher in the west and this first day we focused mainly on the national park that was located a few miles away from Corofin.

The phrase rugged landscape doesn’t even remotely begin to capture the description of this place and given that it is made of solid rock of up to 800 meters deep, it is amazing that anything at all grows here.

It was formed over 250 million years ago (a little bit before I was born) and some of the cracks and crevasses have allowed a sparse amount of vegetation like grass, small bushes, and an occasion small tree, to sprout upwards in defiance of its ruggedness.

We took a trail that brought us towards a small mountain peak but only made it so far up when we realized we were ill-equipped for such a scaling.

But we had an amazing journey and I have attached a number of images from the day at the end of this blog. I hope you enjoy!

The thought that captivated me at the time and has developed into this blog revolved around my search for words to describe the beauty of the place.

My mind quickly alighted on the word “stunning” but I realized how shamelessly I have used that word on several occasions, that have little or nothing to do with the word itself. For example, I have described models as such, moments as such, even clothing as such.

And not once was I ever actually stunned by any of them.

Being stunned, means that you are so shocked that you are unable to react. But we have morphed the word “stunning” into simply an expression of something being extremely impressive or beautiful.

Language, I know, is an evolving medium of expression and I absolutely agree that it should be. But we have become victim to the wheels of marketing and PR hype of the last century to where we continually search for an expression that is better than the last.

It is almost an insult to be “liked” these days, when we expect to hear how much everyone loves us. And being called “nice” is so muted that we would rarely use it as an appropriate description.

Try telling your wife that the meal she cooked for you was nice and expect to be grilled about what is actually wrong with it. Since when did “nice” equate to being wrong?

I am a man of words. Have been for many years and I love stretching myself to find new ones and new uses of old ones. So I am by no means trying to take us back in our verbal-evolution.

But at the same time, it bothers me that we use words so flippantly that their real meaning is defiled and becomes a paler version of what it is supposed to be.

I am genuinely tired of how everything seems to be awesome today. How many times have we all used that word for something that was simply nice?

But if you really want to see how far we have come in our disposable and flippant use of words, look at what messaging has done to us. Has anyone ever really laughed out loud when they respond to a line being sent to them with an LOL?

And in all my life I have never seen anyone Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off but I have received several of those ROTFLMAO when I have messaged something that was mildly amusing.

Word expansion is an addictive process and we are all guilty of feeding the addiction. Yet not one of us will pull back on the reins when it is pointed out.

We can’t. We will continue to take this language down a rabbit hole until one day, we run out of words to use. And then we will make them up.

Which is a shame. Because just like every other addiction, the end game is one of dulled consciousness. Once saturated, our brains won’t recover. And our means of expression, which has been a pivotal part of human evolution, will be reduced to grunts and expressions that leaves us an even more shallow species than we already are.

Nice, huh?

… just a thought!