Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I know, I know. I'm not Catholic, and only part Irish. But you gotta hand it to a Welsh kid captured into slavery in Ireland, who escaped only to go back to Ireland and convert thousands to Christianity by nonviolent means. Pretty impressive feat - although I've always thought the Irish were predisposed to latch onto concepts like the Holy Trinity, as their old religion held the number 3 (and multiples of three) as sacred and magic.

Anyway, we're not doing the usual corned beef and cabbage tonight, as we got our beef on with homemade burgers last night. So it'll be a veggie Mediterranean dinner of pasta & marinara sauce. I'll still go grab a single Guinness or Harp from the store. You just can't let some traditions go.

I usually use St. Patrick's Day to reflect on my culture and its fragmented past. A fiercely proud people, progressive for the time of Antiquity, whose art, religion and system of government influenced much of the ancient world. I think of a people whose strength in their individualistic nature was their downfall in facing the Roman war machine (and later, the British Empire). And I say a wee prayer for Celtic unity. We're a vanishing culture with dying languages, and yet we've brought beauty and innovation to the world. I'd like to see us remember our past accomplishments with pride and look to a united future. We've certainly changed, adapted to the times, but we need not fade into history like the Tuatha Dé Danann.

So here's to ye, St. Paddy. And to my fellow Corkers, O'Duinnins and all.

Celtic Unity graphic, top-to-bottom, left-to-right:
Scotland, Ireland, Wales
Brittany, Isle of Man, Basque Country

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