“What’s the meaning of life?” That is said to be the eternal question. Joseph Campbell, arguably the worlds most renowned scholar of myths, legends and creative and empowering role they can play in our lives, was fond of saying that there was no real meaning to life, and that it is our own obligation to add meaning to our lives; but he also talked about having a calling, a purpose in life. The idea of finding and following a calling was espoused 2500 years ago by the Greek philosopher Plato and before him Aristotle, both of whom believed that every human being has an internal ‘Daemon’, a guiding spirit, somewhat similar to the Christian concept of a guardian angel that carries with it the potential purpose of our life’s work or ‘Calling’. How many of us discover that purpose? How many of us are working at careers or professions we truly love
There are still places in the world where time seems to have been somehow put on hold. Places that have been isolated by their geography, their history or simply because they were not well enough known. Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands, is such a place. Lying with its two cousins, Inishmaan and Inis Meáin strewn across the mouth of Galway Bay, Inis Mór has captured the hearts and imaginations of poets, artists and writers for generations. With a population of perhaps 1,000 hardy souls the island is renowned for characters like Grace O’Malley, the woman known as The Pirate Queen of Inis Mór. Grace O’Malley lived in the 16th century and at the height of her career, she controlled the entire west coast of Ireland, trading goods and political intrigue with Spain, Portugal and Scotland, she fought rival clans seeking to control the harbours of the West Coast as well as English forces sent to subdue her. At one stage she held 11 castles and a fleet that included captured Turkish corsairs and numerous hostages held for ransom.