What the Mabinogion means to me--An Answer to a Contest. 1st March, 2013

Matthew Reese
03/19/14 08:27:45PM
When I first saw this contest, I thought, 'Jeez, this will be easy. How hard is it to write about the Mabinogion? I spend a ton of time just talking about it!' But now actually sitting down to the keys, I don't where to start.
As I have mentioned before, I was born into an American Welsh family about 100 years after immigration. We talked about being Welsh, but didn't have any Welsh friends or do any Welsh things (at least not that I knew about). When I was grown and went out into the world, I wanted to get my head around what being Welsh waswas there even any Welsh-ness left in my family?

One day I happened into a pan-Celtic shop in Denver CO, and sitting on a shelf was a copy of the Mabinogion. It was a gateway drug. I read those stories and listened to the tales as they played out, and I belonged there. See, there were these little things in the book that rang true to my family: Pwyll's nobility and ready whit, the blinding passion of the children of Llyr (my dad even had an uncle not unlike Evnissyen), the attitudes toward hardship and hard work that Manawyddan held.

That has been many years ago, and the more I live and the more I learn, the more I am drawn back to the Mabinogion and the stories that still find new ways to ring true