St. Patrick's day approaches and people are anticipating the celebration. Decorations featuring leprechauns, teddy bears holding shamrocks, and pots of gold are scattered here and there. Soon the green beer will flow! It's a wonderful excuse to drink yourself stupid.
My celebration began the first week in March. It began with decorating my area of our new office with a delicate teapot and mug decorated with small sprigs of shamrocks, a matching ceramic shamrock wall hanging, a list called, "You might be Irish if:" and a sign that reads, "St. Pat's Pub - Blarney spoken here." (What can I say? My name is Pat! I couldn't resist...) This week I've been listening even more to Celtic music, including Kim Robertson, Celtic Woman, Celtic Thunder, and my favorite local Irish band, Blackthorn.
This weekend is Irish movie weekend. It starts with The Quite Man. It's filled with old stereotypes that could be offensive, but it still manages to create a type of charm that you can't put your finger on. It also was my introduction the one of my favorite melodies, The Isle of Inishfree. (I'd love to see what they would do with a re-make of this movie...)
Next will be Waking Ned Devine. Most people I know think it's a strange little movie, but I think its one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. The relationship of the two best friends also warms the heart. And, of course, there is a bit of music that is a favorite - The Parting Glass.
The last movie isn't so much about Irish people, but it has a large portion set in Ireland - Laws of Attraction. Two divorce lawyers "duke it out" over a rock star and his wife's possessions, including a castle in Ireland. The stars include one of my favorites, Pierce Brosnan. It's fun to watch the lawyers fight for their clients while fighting their attraction to each other.
Of course, every day I play Celtic music on my harp, but now it it feels more like a celebration and more authentic on my Webster McFall harp. So while some people use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to get drunk, I drink in a feeling of belonging to the past, pride in my heritage, and dreams of one day seeing the country of my great-grandfather. It's a gentle celebration, more internal than external. I wouldn't have it any other way.