Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Erin Go Bragh!

It’s March and the typical spring madness is upon me. Sick to death
of rain, though it’s what makes my home so green and lovely, sicker
still of snow. We had sunshine this morning and now the blue has turned
to grey rain. Perhaps I will cheer myself by splashing in the puddles.

March is also time for feelings of Erin Go Bragh!

I offer you these quotes by Irish authors:

“He was a bold man who first eat an oyster.”—Jonathan Swift

“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him
through temporary periods of joy.” –William Butler Yeats

“I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is
enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings
his lantern higher.” –William Butler Yeats

(All personal favorites of mine. I’m still having trouble eating
oysters on the half shell… bold man indeed! )

Where I work, it’s all green, white and gold for St. Patrick’s
Day’s coming. I’ve gathered my best stories about Fionn mac
Cumhail (a.k.a. Finn mac Cool)… the greatest of all Irish heros… in my
personal opinion of course. Ireland gave birth to many. Today I read
the first story and got a real kick out of the looks on the faces of the
children when I told them how Finn Mac Cool bit off the magic little
finger of the great giant Cuhullin! There were cries of
“EEEEEEWWW!” but also big giggles.

“This mighty soldier on the eve of the war he waged told his troops
of lessons learned from battles fought: ‘May your heart grow bolder
like an iron-clad brigade’ said this leader to his outnumbered lot.
Known as a hero to all that he knew, long live the legend of Finn Mac
Cool! The brave Celtic leader of the chosen few… long live the legend of
Finn Mac Cool!” (as the Dropkick Murphy’s song goes.)

There’s a story of giant potato, one about Finn’s fine wife, Oona
who is as clever as brave, the hero giant Cuhullin or sometimes spelled
Cuchulainn (Koo-hoo-lin) who’s skin would turn around in battle so
that his heels and calves faced forward… one eye shrunk up tiny in his
head and the other grew huge and red… His hair would drip blood or light
and he entered a battle trance where he would not even know friend from
foe… so fierce was he! At the end of his life, he battled so hard that
he had to strap himself to a rock to keep from falling down as he raged.
Wahoo… fun stuffs!

We have fairies, sprites, will ’o the wisps and leprchans too for the
softer of heart. Some of my listeners are pretty little yet. But for
me, there is nothing like a good battle story with a hero at it’s
heart, bigger than life. I love the heck out of this stuff… no one
embroiders the truth better.

“Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at
the start. I carry from my mother’s womb a fanatic heart.”
–William Butler Yeats. (Ditto me.)

I hope to finish Hal 9000 today. I had a hardware problem last night
that Squeaky has to help me resolve… but then I will know how to resolve
it myself. I hope everyone has enjoyed their day to the fullest

O terque quaterque beatum !
(We are three or four times blessed!) Believe it.


  1. Mmmm, I love oysters on the half shell. But them I am only part-Irish.

  2. Ah... me too, but the part that is, is true blue. I do love these stories, though most that I mentioned are for children, I love the legends even more. The oysters... I don't know. I have to close my eyes and force them down.