I found this, below, beautifully articulated, and so resonant of my own experience. Thank you for your delightful website. I only just stumbled upon it and look forward to listening to many of your podcasts.
“In Ireland, evidence of belief in what some rural people call the “Other Side” is hardly ever as overt and obvious as, say, belief in Catholicism, which is apparent in every village from the many churches. Some people are even embarrassed to admit a faith in the old stories, or remember a time when they were punished or ostracized for practicing the old folkways. So to find my interview subjects, I’d simply take long walks, or hang out in small country pubs, and get the conversation around to the old ways, then gently inquire as to who in the area might still know or remember them. For these stories (and many others), I always sought out the old and wise members of the community. When I’d get to their homes, I would be straightforward about my ignorance, and express my questions in an open and honest way; my sincerity, curiosity and respect would come through to them. I was not afraid to be emotional. Once people had a sense that my “heart was in the right place,” they would usually open up….”
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