I have never done much celebrating of St. Patrick's Day. I don't drink green beer, and if someone else served me corned beef, I'd eat it, but I don't love it enough to make it for my own homestead. Occasionally I make Irish soda bread, and I wonder why it isn't tastier. I've made a cake with Guinness beer occasionally, and here, too, I wonder why it isn't more delicious. I'm not braving the crowds to go to an Irish pub--I like my pubs deserted.
I may spend some time contemplating Celtic aspects of Christianity, but I might do that any day, whether it's a day that celebrates the life of a famous Irish saint or not.
I am intrigued by the crowds of people who have no connection to Ireland or Christianity or any of the reasons we celebrate today. But I'm not critical. I believe in injecting festivity into daily life in whatever way we can.
Today I will go to church, where we will probably not contemplate Saint Patrick or Ireland or Celtic Christianity. That's fine. People may wear green. That's fine too.
Today has already been a good day for me. I got up feeling a bit depleted, as I've felt most days this week (and for several weeks). I had completed most of my tasks on my weekly creative task list, but I still needed to write a poem. I had absolutely no ideas.
I looked back through my blog where I occasionally write down inspirations for later. I came across this suggestion in a blog post from August 1, 2010:
"--Are you feeling stymied because the thought of coming up with characters/plot/theme are just too overwhelming? Go to the work of others, work where a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done. Write a sequel or a prequel. Choose one of the characters and make that character the focus of a new story. Write about the landscape in the story, landscape inhabited by a new set of characters.
So, here’s an example. Let’s take Cinderella’s house. Tell the story of the previous owners—how did Cinderella’s dad come to have it. Or tell the story of the people who inherit the house several generations later. Is it a training house for women who want to leave their careers as housecleaners? An orphanage? Or tell the story of Cinderella’s wedding gown in later years. Does her daughter wear it and dream of a prince to call her own? Did Cinderella turn it into a quilt?"
I had a flash of insight: Cinderella has to settle the family home. And I was off. I had a great time imagining what happened to Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters and what has happened to the neighborhood.
To be honest, I wrote before I realized it was Saint Patrick's Day. There might be lots of poetry inspiration in the life of Saint Patrick too. For more on this saint's day, see this post on my theology blog.
However you celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, I hope it's wonderful for us all.