St Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's day to all.  An occasion for some to drink green beer, perhaps become uproariously and (to their own minds at least) hilariously drunk.  A license for drunkenness for a day--a free pass. 

But having now visited Ireland--a country with which I have no ties whatsoever--genealogically I may be one of 10 caucasian people in the United States who has no Irish ancestry whatsoever--I think somewhat differently of this day.  Having seen the post office pillars that stand as silent memorials to those who lost their lives in the most recent series of troubles, having read the Easter Proclamation, having seen the Famine memorial has brought home to me a very different view of Ireland--one both more somber and more lovely.  And St. Patrick's day gives me cause and pause to pray for the continued peace of that nation, for its continued adherence to the beliefs for which it was so long punished, and for the continued livelihood and prosperity of the people who brought so much to the world of the arts and to American life and culture.  Without Ireland there is no Joyce, Yeats, Flannery O'Connor. . . the list goes on.

So, happy St. Patrick's day.  Before you imbibe, recall the struggles of the past and the difficulties of the present and say a little prayer for the future so that Ireland may continue to be a refuge of artists and an example to the world.

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