San Diego Scottish Highland Games Scottish Highland Games of San Diego
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net
Join Highland Happenings!
Email:
For Email Marketing you can trust
Join our Newsletter
Duncan Williamson by Marilyn McPhie If you've been to Edinburgh, did you visit the Scottish Storytelling Centre?  It's right in the center of everything on the Royal Mile and is well worth a visit.  There are many performances and workshops offered, and they're often free or very low cost.  Check their schedule for events for kids, families, adults.  But even if there are no special events when you visit, there are interactive exhibits highlighting Scottish folktales, a sweet little bookstore and a cafe.  ( I recommend the gingerbread with cream cheese frosting.  Yum.) And there's a curious wooden chair, beautiful wood, beautifully carved.  The inscription says that it's the Duncan Williamson chair.  Duncan Williamson, as you may know, was a Scottish Traveler, a singer, and probably the best- known Scottish storyteller and tradition-keeper.  He was born  in 1928 in Argyll and died in 2007.  Although neither of his parents could read or write, they told stories,  And Duncan always had a strong belief in the value of storytelling. He often remarked,. 'Stories are something you carry with you, something to last for your entire life to be passed on to your children, and their children for ever more. Telling a child a story implants a seed in their mind, and you know when you are gone from this world that that child is going to tell the tale you told them, and remember you.' Here is a short version of a tale that Duncan Williamson often told: The Happy Man's Shirt Once there was a king.  He was rich, and he was powerful.  He had a castle, lands and devoted subjects.  And he would have been perfectly content, except for one thing.  The king's son was not well.  He had not been well since his birth, and there was neither an obvious cause nor an obvious cure.  The king loved his son and would have done anything to make him well.  He would go to any lengths, spend any amount of money, travel as far as necessary to cure his son.  So the king sought advice and help from doctors and philosophers and fortune tellers -- - anyone who might have a cure.  Finally, after years of trying and failing to find a cure, the king consulted a wise woman.  She examined the young man, questioned him and came to a conclusion.  "Your son can be cured," she told the king. "This is wonderful news, " exclaimed the king.  "What must I do?  I will do anything." "Just  this," said the woman.  "You must find a happy man --- a truly happy man -- and exchange your son's shirt for his.  Then he will be well." "That's all?" asked the king.  "I will set about this at once." And the very next morning, the king sent servants out to all parts of the kingdom to find a happy man and bring him to the castle so that the exchange of shirts could be made. Days passed.  Then weeks.  Then months.  And the servants returned with discouraging news.  They had found many men who seemed to be happy.  But each one of them on closer questioning revealed a lack.  One said he would be truly happy if he had a wife.  Another said he would be truly happy without his wife.  One said he would be happy if he had riches.  Another lacked a good horse.  The desires were large and small and varied, but in the end, they had not found even one man who was truly happy just as he was. The king was discouraged.  It had sounded so easy.  He decided to go for a walk in the nearby woods to calm his mind.  As he walked, he heard someone singing -- a song so joyful that he followed it into the woods, where he found a man fishing in a nearby stream.  Engaging the man in conversation, the king found that he was a peasant who lived alone in a small cottage close by. "Are you happy?"  asked the king, and he held his breath as he awaited the answer. "Yes, indeed," said the peasant.  "I am most happy." The king could hardly believe it and questioned him further  "Would you not be happier if you had a wife?  a finer house? more money? a better job?" "No," said the peasant, "I am happy just as I am." Excited, the king bade the peasant to follow him back to the castle and to his son. "Quickly," exclaimed the king.  "I need something that you have." "Anything," said the peasant.  "What do you need?" "I need your shirt!" The peasant looked surprised.  He began to unbutton his jacket. "I would give you anything," he said, "But I cannot give you that." "Why not?" cried the king. But by then the peasant had removed his jacket, and it was clear.  The happy man had no shirt. And so ends the story.  We wish the best for the king and his son.  But we see that a truly happy person is happy with things as they are.  Even the most ordinary life is filled with such blessings that we should feel both rich and happy.  A good message  of Thanksgiving from an old Scottish traveler.
Happy Shirt
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net
San Diego Scottish Highland Games Scottish Highland Games of San Diego
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084
Join Highland Happenings!
Email:
For Email Marketing you can trust
Duncan Williamson by Marilyn McPhie If you've been to Edinburgh, did you visit the Scottish Storytelling Centre?  It's right in the center of everything on the Royal Mile and is well worth a visit.  There are many performances and workshops offered, and they're often free or very low cost.  Check their schedule for events for kids, families, adults.  But even if there are no special events when you visit, there are interactive exhibits highlighting Scottish folktales, a sweet little bookstore and a cafe.  ( I recommend the gingerbread with cream cheese frosting.  Yum.) And there's a curious wooden chair, beautiful wood, beautifully carved.  The inscription says that it's the Duncan Williamson chair.  Duncan Williamson, as you may know, was a Scottish Traveler, a singer, and probably the best-known Scottish storyteller and tradition-keeper.  He was born  in 1928 in Argyll and died in 2007.  Although neither of his parents could read or write, they told stories,  And Duncan always had a strong belief in the value of storytelling. He often remarked,. 'Stories are something you carry with you, something to last for your entire life to be passed on to your children, and their children for ever more. Telling a child a story implants a seed in their mind, and you know when you are gone from this world that that child is going to tell the tale you told them, and remember you.' Here is a short version of a tale that Duncan Williamson often told: The Happy Man's Shirt Once there was a king.  He was rich, and he was powerful.  He had a castle, lands and devoted subjects.  And he would have been perfectly content, except for one thing.  The king's son was not well.  He had not been well since his birth, and there was neither an obvious cause nor an obvious cure.  The king loved his son and would have done anything to make him well.  He would go to any lengths, spend any amount of money, travel as far as necessary to cure his son.  So the king sought advice and help from doctors and philosophers and fortune tellers --- anyone who might have a cure.  Finally, after years of trying and failing to find a cure, the king consulted a wise woman.  She examined the young man, questioned him and came to a conclusion.  "Your son can be cured," she told the king. "This is wonderful news, " exclaimed the king.  "What must I do?  I will do anything." "Just  this," said the woman.  "You must find a happy man --- a truly happy man -- and exchange your son's shirt for his.  Then he will be well." "That's all?" asked the king.  "I will set about this at once." And the very next morning, the king sent servants out to all parts of the kingdom to find a happy man and bring him to the castle so that the exchange of shirts could be made. Days passed.  Then weeks.  Then months.  And the servants returned with discouraging news.  They had found many men who seemed to be happy.  But each one of them on closer questioning revealed a lack.  One said he would be truly happy if he had a wife.  Another said he would be truly happy without his wife.  One said he would be happy if he had riches.  Another lacked a good horse.  The desires were large and small and varied, but in the end, they had not found even one man who was truly happy just as he was. The king was discouraged.  It had sounded so easy.  He decided to go for a walk in the nearby woods to calm his mind.  As he walked, he heard someone singing -- a song so joyful that he followed it into the woods, where he found a man fishing in a nearby stream.  Engaging the man in conversation, the king found that he was a peasant who lived alone in a small cottage close by. "Are you happy?"  asked the king, and he held his breath as he awaited the answer. "Yes, indeed," said the peasant.  "I am most happy." The king could hardly believe it and questioned him further  "Would you not be happier if you had a wife?  a finer house? more money? a better job?" "No," said the peasant, "I am happy just as I am." Excited, the king bade the peasant to follow him back to the castle and to his son. "Quickly," exclaimed the king.  "I need something that you have." "Anything," said the peasant.  "What do you need?" "I need your shirt!" The peasant looked surprised.  He began to unbutton his jacket. "I would give you anything," he said, "But I cannot give you that." "Why not?" cried the king. But by then the peasant had removed his jacket, and it was clear.  The happy man had no shirt. And so ends the story.  We wish the best for the king and his son.  But we see that a truly happy person is happy with things as they are.  Even the most ordinary life is filled with such blessings that we should feel both rich and happy.  A good message  of Thanksgiving from an old Scottish traveler.
Join our Newsletter
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084