Happy St. Paddy’s Day (2023)!

Not a lot to say about it, other than I wish I were there. In Ireland. Going round the Ring of Kerry, perhaps, among other stops and stays. Wandering amongst this and that, especially to see the Skellig Islands once more. Where I want me dust to go someday. Somewhere close to Tír na nÓg, to be sure. Which, in times long gone, was right around the corner, I’m told. Though some bards say the blessed isles are to the west of the Cliffs of Moher.

Cliffs of Moher. County Clare, Ireland. Photo by Douglas Pinson. 2003.

Should go to the places I missed out on, too, like Yeats Country.…

Happy Bloomsday 2011!!

 It’s that time of the year again. Toast one or two or three for old Jimmy and Nora. Toast one or two or three for the streets of Dublin he saw with uncanny focus from Trieste. And toast one or two or three for Blind Homer, who inspired him and gave the world of fiction its great and everlasting journey.

“As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said, from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist weave and unweave his image.”

— Ch. 9: Scylla and Charybdis

“I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

Tabhair póg dom, is Éireannach mé

The Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, Ireland.

It’s that day again. Another year, another Guinness or two or three. I wonder sometimes what old Saint Patty would make of his holiday being used for fun and frivolity, and more than a little bit of liquid spirits. Did he drink in his monastery, or out and about in his walks across Ireland? Possibly so. He may have needed more than a little help, chasing away all of those snakes and demons. And it may have helped him explain to the Irish how the concept of the Trinity was like the Irish Shamrock, as he did on occasion.…

Bloomsday 2009

Another year past, and we’re here again. June 16th. Bloomsday. The day to celebrate James Joyce’s book about a day in the life in 1904 that was kinda important to him.

It points back in time to Homer, back in time to various modes of English, back in time to that day in 1904, and ahead in time for thousands of scholars who have labored to understand it and its myriad sources.

Ulysses was meant to be read aloud, so we can chew on each word. It was meant to be heard, so we can sing with each paragraph. Listen to each sentence, carefully, so we can dance inside our ears.…

Tabhair ‘om póg, is Éireannach mé

In honor of Saint Patty’s Day, I thought it a good thing to watch “Once”, once again. Its simple beauty held up, the emotional power remained, and I came away from it with more joy in me heart than I had before rewatching it. It’s just quite nearly a perfect film. No pretense. No artifice. Just golden, raw, innocent emotion, but never naive. True. The movie rings true, like guitars around a campfire. Like guitars in the streets of Dublin. And those streets came back to me and took me back to my trip there in 2003. A trip I can’t and won’t ever forget, for the depth of love I felt for my ancestral home, for the sights and sounds along the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, the castles, the mountains, the sea.

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