My first Irish post came about the same way most people do, as a result of great passion and very much by accident. After which I kinda sorta knew I had a favorite place to run my writing legs, thanks to the patron Saint of those rolling green hills and the songs it birthed.
The feast of St. Patrick is about way more than drinking yourself silly. The holiday is an obligation to the cross, a pleading weep of consecrated vows handed down from the age of chieftains and nobles. It is a ceremony of songs and books and theatrical productions, the most memorable of which get played out on the smallest stages. It is a ritual whose maintenance is repaired annually and remembered fondly on the other three hundred and sixty four.
It is love. Peaceful, honest and truly that. Love.
And so this Irish post shows up a few days late, which makes it right on time seeing as how my very first Irish post showed up the same way. Coloring outside the lines is why I love this holiday so much. Well, it’s one of the reasons. Another one is curls. The red, flowing ones whose danger is implicit and whose rhyme is sweet.
(Yep, I had to tuck the lovely Vera Farmiga in here, seeing as how I’ve been remiss in doing so recently. She’s the unofficial Drinks Well with Others poster girl. And okay, so maybe she doesn’t care whether I mention her or not, but my man John is okay with me doing just that. And while I’m busy with shout outs, a big thank you to the So Cal contingent of my Irish posse for thinking of me. That Wish Factor chica is good peeps.)
This year, my St. Patrick’s Day became a casualty to Monday. Tell ya what, there should be a law that prohibits the holiday from falling on a week day. Sooooo, my tradition of spending the holy day with an Irish girl was moved to Tuesday. Delayed by a day, but no less a celebration because of it.
Yesterday went green with the first toast. Me and Irish talked about the past and we laughed about the present and we drank to the future, and the 18th became the best idea since the 17th.
“Write an Irish post.” She commanded.
It doesn’t take St. Patrick for me to listen when she throws a request like this out there. She’s got hell fire inside her commands, in the loveliest of ways. We have shared the last five St. Patrick’s Days in various stages of assemblage. Not always together in the same place, but always together.
One of my favorite stories of us comes from the time after we broke up several years back. It’s a favorite story on account of the fact she’s Irish and I’m Latin, and as such we share the propensity for attaching punch lines to trying times.
I had told her I needed some time, after which she introduced me to a nuanced universe of Fuck You whenever I tried contacting her. It was a couple weeks before I could convince her to meet me for a drink; a tenuous detente, to be sure. The calamity of a pissed off Irish girl with a few drinks in her might have been something to avoid if I hadn’t experienced such a thing many times before. The curse of Yeats is my witness, but I’m addicted to that kind of romantic entanglement where a kiss or an uppercut is an even money bet.
The conversation began sporadically as our words desperately searched for an anchor to which we could burn away the awkwardness. And then a memory found its way in, and this memory fostered a joke and before long we were regaling in the history we had accomplished. And then we were chasing away the silence with tawdry jokes and wicked glances, and we were smiling away the self imposed punishment we had created. The stubbornness of a Catholic upbringing became the common thread we could hold to and curse at. And then, as happens when the fates feel like smiling, there came an opening.
“How’s Mr Speaker?” She asked.
“Kicking ass and taking names, as usual. Hey, you want to see him?” I replied.
Her smile let me know what the night was going to look like.
He won’t chase snakes and he’s a lousy mouser, but that black cat of mine proved to be the best damn wing man in the world, and the whole of Ireland.
And then a nowhere night felt like St. Patrick’s Day, with an Irish girl behaving in accordance whilst getting plenty of help from a scoundrel whose affections were rewarded in kind. And just like the Holy Day, the world got busy making all kinds of sense inside the smallest stage.
Tradition is borne in darkness but raised in light, and so it is with St. Patrick’s Day. So, as the Gaelic blessing goes . . may the road rise up to meet you and may the wind be always at your back. Just remember that the road is yours to take.
Enjoy the walk.