A Wee Bit O Craìc

March 17, 2018 | Jen McB

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Nowadays, there are essentially two kinds of Irish. You might love Coronation Street. Equally possible, you might think that show is rubbish. Let's assume I am the later, but don't tell my Papa. Today, anyone can be Irish and I have come to this one conclusion after years of study and observations. Being Irish is a particular brand of being spirited.

One way to enjoy this way of being is to read. The Irish have a long, notable history of monks in monasteries, producing illuminated manuscripts. Folk since then have pointed at the "Book of Kells" declaring that we have a great book culture. Have you read any good books lately? Maybe by an Irish person or someone fond of the Irish temperament. My go to is "Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova. I do not think she is Irish, but she captured the North American brand of Irish so well.

      Inside the O'Briens

You might consider yourself Irish if you like design. The Irish are noted for knot work, spirals known as triskele, and zoomorphic marginalia. You may look at some Irish crafts and think, well the Chinese are also great at knot work, the triskele is not that different from the idea of Yin and Yang, and that's not a Lion in The Gospel of St. Mark! To be Irish is to be self deprecating. Please feel free to point out your better Lion portraits. It would be nice to have a pint with everyone knowledgeable on the subjects and get into a friendly debate, this is good fun (Craìc).  

St. Mark's Lion
The Gospel according to St. Mark from the "Book of Kells" 9th century, Ireland.

Thirdly, if you find yourself answering questions not in a "Yes" or "No" way, but in a long and winded storytelling way, you have what is known as the gift of the gab.  For to be Irish is not to be to the point, it is to make a point of saying here are all the relevant details. We know there are no lions in Ireland but here is why we drew one. They are fantastic! Of course today is actually St. Patrick's name day but let us speak of someone else for a change. Then we will get to that good man who is attributed with saving the Irish from their snakes, also known as Druidry. Many a good fantasy novel is inspired by the Druids.  Then digress even more until you wonder what your original thought was. It is polite to buy a round at this point. Here are some Druid titles.     

          The book of Druidry  The Dark Miracle

If you find that any of this is up your alley, enjoy the lively festivities today. Tell a good story, read a good book, have a few and if you end up with a tattoo later it could be inspired by an artistic style that has been around a good millennium or two. If you are the other sort of Irish who likes Coronation Street, we can still have tea and cookies but we will leave politics to the professionals or maybe we can meet up at a Civil Society lecture.    

Ken and Me

50 years of coronation street