Sometime in our prehistory, Amairgen glúngel mac Míl aka Amergin (who came to claim Ireland as his own) set his right foot upon the shore of Ireland and pronounced the following magnificent utterence
“Am gáeth i mmuir, Am tond trethan i tír, Am fúaim mara, Am dam secht ndírend, Am séig i n-aill, Am dér gréne, Am caín, Am torc ar gail, Am hé i llind, Am loch i m’maig, Am brí a ndai, Am bri dana, Am gai i fodb feras feochtu, Am dé delbas do chind codnu, Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe, Cia on cotagair aesa éscai, Cia dú i llaig funiud grene, Cia beir búar o thig Temrach, Cia buar Tethrach, Cia dain, Cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu, Cáinté im gaí cainte gaithe… Am”.
There are many translations of this invocation, often considered to be the first uttered poem and certainly one of the earliest recorded; it has fired the minds of poets and artists in every generation. It is commonly called ‘The song of Amergin’. My translation and the standard approximate understanding is as follows;
I am the wind upon the sea, I am an ocean wave, I am it’s roar, I am a stag of seven combats, I am a hawk upon a cliff, I am a tear-drop of the sun, I am the fairest herb, I am the fearless boar, I am a salmon in a pool, I am a lake in a plain, I am the skill of the arts, I am the spearhead of victory, a God whom fashions fire for the head, Whom knows the secrets of the stones, Whom announces the ages of the Moon, Whom knows the place where the sunset falls, and can calm the cows, I invoke a poetry of the wind, for I am.
The lesson; If you are going to let them know you have arrived then let them know you have arrived. Nothing by halves, do yourself justice. If you are in truth ‘all that’ then be all that.
Now if you talk a big game then you better have the skills to back it up. Ego in Ireland and amongst the Irish diaspora is seen as a character flaw but ‘stepping up’ that’s just manifestation of your full potential. ‘Ego’ is just hot air (bullshit without backup) but ‘stepping up’ or ‘representing’ well that’s the power of the wind upon the sea, that’s the irrepressibility of the ocean wave, that’s the righteous roar.