No, I’m not really confused. It is, of course, St. Patrick’s day. Since I’m half Irish, I know this. (the other half is split between Welsh and a contribution from a mercenary Hessian from the American Revolution who fell in love with America and let himself get captured so he could stay, but that’s another story….)
There, that’s better. More appropriate. I was going to use a shot of a pint of Guinness, but for some reason I can’t find it…..
I’ve sometimes wonder if I would have guessed at my Irish blood if I didn’t already know it. When I first came to the Northwest, after years of trying to survive in a dry, desert region paved over with concrete and asphalt, I was off the ferry out of Seattle less than five minutes before I realized I felt I’d come home. Is it some genetic memory that hearkens back to other green covered land and blue waters? As a child, the first time I heard a Celtic flute, without even know what it was, my heart was filled with longing, an ache I couldn’t define. And heaven help me, the pipes. Yes, yes, I love the pipes. Apparently you either love or hate bagpipes. No denial here. I’ll stop for the pipes anywhere, unless they’re playing Amazing Grace, because then I’ll end up weeping my eyes out.
“Maybe it’s bred in the bone, but the sound of pipes is a little bit of heaven to some of us.” –Nancy O’Keeefe
Someone once said to me “Of course you’re a writer. It’s the Irish, you know.” I didn’t know, but there certainly is a stable to choose from. And they do have a way….
“The English language brings out the best in the Irish. They court it like a beautiful woman. They make it bray with donkey laughter. They hurl it at the sky like a paint pot full of rainbows, and then make it chant a dirge for man’s fate and man’s follies that is as mournful as misty spring rain crying over the fallow earth. Rarely has a people paid the lavish compliment and taken the subtle revenge of turning its oppressor’s speech into sorcery. ” T E Kalem
And I have Irishman Brendan Behan to thank for one of my favorite quotes ever, since becoming a writer:
“Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.”
No, I’ve never set foot on that green, green isle, but I hope to rectify that some day. How can you not want to visit a land that has a place like this?
In the mean time, to you all, Irish, part Irish, or not, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!