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Friday, March 16, 2012

"Shades"

Everybody is at least a little Irish this week, even though I don’t think I have any actual Irish ancestors. It seems strange to me that there has been so much violence in the old country when the Irish are such a happy, all-inclusive bunch over here. I wore orange to the bar one year, but nobody understood orange in Ohio. I think that’s better, and shame on me for the provocation. Let’s just blow that off for youthful stupidity and celebrate in shades of green.

I think my dad always regretted that we weren’t Irish. He would’ve fit right in as an Irish bard, roaming the countryside, singing beautiful songs, and telling funny stories. He made me listen to a lot of John Gary when I was growing up, and this was one of his favorite songs to sing in the garden. I guess Dad gave up on being Irish after a while because he started telling people we were direct descendants of Eric the Red instead. The really aggravating thing about that little fantasy is that some of my relatives started believing it and repeating it. It’s not like Dad would lie about such a thing, is it? Yes! Dad would lie! Anything for a better story.

There was a time when he and I were sitting at Bukovnic’s Pond. The fish were strung together on the line and swimming in ignorance of their final fate while Dad explained the universe. I listened with rapt attention, glowing with the knowledge that my dad knew more than everyone else’s dad put together, and… wait a sec… something didn’t quite sound right there. I interrupted Dad’s flow of narrative to have him explain what he had just said about the moon being influenced fairies, or was it fire flies, or huh? Wait a minute! “You’re making all this up, aren’t you?!!”

Instead of a normal sense of shame for lying to a little girl, my dad roared with laughter.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Eric the Red? Yeah, right. I’m not falling for that one. I suppose this gets to root of why nothing enrages me more than when people lie to me. I suppose Dad taught me something in that moment, which is trust no one, and fact check. Don’t send me emails of urban legends without running it past Snopes.com unless you want me to send it back to your entire mailing list with the actual facts.

Lest you think that I have a puritanical attitude about stories, let me insert here that I love fiction. Love the fanciful things that Andrew Finnie writes, and Harry Potter, and Mary Stewart’s Merlin. I used to have a bumper sticker saying “reality is for people without imaginations”, and the really funny thing is that I gave the truck with that bumper sticker to my most gravity-bound brother, who drove around with that saying for a couple years. I love getting carried away into a different reality, just so long as everybody’s clear that now is story time, which is not to be confused with reality. I swear life would be so much better if politicians and reporters understood that difference, but I suppose Dad wouldn’t have been Dad if he’d been too bound up with reality. We had Mom for that kind of thing.

Woo hoo! A prize! Thanks very much to Otto Munchow for this honor. Visit his site for gorgeous photography and pearls of wisdom. Otto’s gotten quite a few awards lately, and very much deserved too. The problem with receiving awards is how to choose just one worthy blogger to pass it on to? Since I just mentioned Andrew Finnie, and he seems to have recently ended his painfully long blogging sabbatical, he wins. I suspect he might even go with my Irish theme this week too. Andrew gives me the same kind of “Oh yay it’s story time!” feeling that I had with Dad, plus very cool visuals.

Thanks to Debbie this week too. I won her drawing for etegami book plates and had a thrill of opening mail from Japan. (See me beaming with happiness?) Look at her lovely art and help her fundraising efforts for Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims here.

29 comments:

  1. St.Patrick's Day is one of the few Western holidays that hasn't taken root here, though expats seem to have fun with it where there are enough of them to justify a party. But the Japanese sure love anything that is said to bring good luck, so the four-leaf clover is always a big hit. Thanks for mentioning my fundraising efforts! Thumbs up. :)

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  2. We have definite Irish ancestors Linda..my maiden name was Macklin - that name was one of the many Irish King's so I like to fantasise that I could have blue blood in my veins!Congrats on your award and your win. That really is a lucky clover leaf there...great work!
    Jane x

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  3. You dad sounds like quite the character. My dad was fond of wearing an orange hat on St. Patrick's day, and he definitely was a character!
    Your clover is spectacular!

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  4. Beautiful clover leaf and now we know where you get your wonderful story-telling skills!

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  5. I admit it. I had to look up the tradition of wearing orange on St. Patrick's Day. Can people still pinch you if you wear orange?

    Beautifully patterned shamrock. Your father sounds like he was a fun person to grow up with!

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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  6. I admit I've never been able to find a 4 leaf clover in real life, so I have to make my own luck :) I didn't know about the pinching Bella. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that one. Good luck with your fund raising Debbie! Thanks for the comments everybody!

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  7. Linda, sincere congrats on your awards. And my condolences for your Dad's Irish envy. Love the art, as always.

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  8. Blarney is delightful when it isn't coming from politicians & journalists & doctors & such. Whatever his lineage, your father sounds like a thoroughly charming & highly-entertaining fellow! But it's probably lucky you had practical Mom around to keep you all grounded. I think that's one reason opposites often attract-- their kids are more likely to survive!

    Your faces comment intrigued me-- I see them everywhere, even when they aren't really there, in trees & rocks & such-- do you?

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  9. beautiful design! great colors and shadows.

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  10. I do see faces everywhere Leah. It used to make me absolutely crazy to look at my sister's rumpled sheets in the moonlight. I couldn't sleep for looking at them. Thanks for the comments guys!

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  11. Oh to be sure to be sure ;)

    Hey Linda, yippee, thank you so much for your kind words - and my award!!! Hahahaha!!! You know I just love to say Tursday instead of Thursday - but I like saying "Friday' better!!!

    St Patrick's day always reminds me of Yeat's poem about the ill fated 1916 Easter Uprising.

    "Being certain that they and I
    But lived where motley is worn:
    All changed, changed utterly:
    A terrible beauty is born."

    The motley being an ascertation t hat the protagonists of the uprising had been too scared to wear their true colours -

    My ancestors are Irish, a mad crew they are, on both sides - you know the worst thing - my mother is fey and when I p lay board games with her - there is one where you outlay 5 coloured plastic things behind a barrier so your opposition can;t see what they are and they have to eliminate them by logic - she always guesses on the second go - where pure logic would state that she would need at least five goes ...... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargghhh :)

    Happuy St Pat's day to you too. And let's drink another pint o'Guiness to the fact their are no snakes in Ireland ..... hic, stagger, sway, hic !

    :)

    Ah your four leaf clover is superb, and I think I would'a liked your da'. They're the best kind fathers, the one's who make up things as they go just to see the joy in their children's faces!

    Seo a súile i do cheannairí agus aon cheann i do prátaí.!!!

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  12. ahh I found that game http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind_(board_game)

    wiki tells me it's a six guess algorythm, what ever an algie-ryhtm is - some kind o' seaweed I tink.

    now back that Guiness, hick, stagger, sway ;)

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  13. Eyes in your head and not your potatoes to you too Andrew! Yeah, I learn new things every day :) I guess I'm like your mother, and can be fey with games too. My practical mother says that it's just observation that happens too quick to notice, but I'm glad I had a dad that told me to look for magic.

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  14. This is lovely, Linda! Love the shades o' green and the very fun story you've told. My father was the same..such a teller of tales..and when we realized he was weaving a tall tale, he laughed the biggest laugh and had the biggest smile. Oh how crazy huh?! : ) Congratulations on your well-deserved award!! And you are right about Mr. Finnie..I always love his stories..I tell you, you and he are wonderful storytellers and it's awesome to get to read them as much as you post..thank you!

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  15. I like your 4-leaf clover.
    really.

    I'm not lying.


    .

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  16. Happy belated St. Patty’s day to ya Linda! Love the shamrock design! Great post... as usual.... even if you aren’t Irish :o) Your dad sounds like mine :o)

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  17. Sound to me as if your dad and Calvin's dad (of Calvin and Hobbes) would have gotten along! Fun story.

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  18. I'm surprised to say that this is the first St. Patrick's Day themed illustration for "shades" (although I haven't looked all that hard!). Your dad sounds like a bright nonconformist.

    I was a bit of a rebel too this year and wore absolutely no green whatsoever on the day. I don't think anyone even noticed my rebellion.

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  19. Raising a glass of green beer to colorful fathers! Thanks for the comments everybody!!

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  20. Great 4 leaf clover, hope it brings you lots of luck. Your dad sounds like a lot of fun :)

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  21. Thanks Amanda! Wish you lots of luck too!

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  22. What a beautiful 4 leafed clover! It makes a good header too!

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  23. Congrats on your award!
    And I love the green shades in your clover, and of course the 4 leaves - it'll give you luck - I can feel it.

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  24. Congrats on your genuine blogger award. Just from this post alone, I can see why you were elected for the honors.

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  25. What would the world be like without people like your dad. lol

    I agree with you though, that the alarmist emails are annoying.

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  26. Thanks everybody! I hope everyone had a green beer and lots of luck this year!

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  27. It's a beautiful design, perfect for St. Patrick's Day. Thanks for the nice words, too.

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