I didn’t know Derdriu and Noisiu either

I sat on the porch for too long this evening, enjoying the stillness of the air. That pushed the rest of the day a little further into the night. Get cleaned up, play with the cats, have a bite to eat, and so on until, finally, it was late and dark by the time I got around to watering the flowers.

I did that in the darkness, because we don’t have lights right over the flowers. Easy enough, though, especially in the dark. Give the spigot a half crank, make sure the sprayer is on mist and then move back and forth a lot. The sound lets you know if you’re on target. I was thinking about different types of leaves and the sound the water makes on them. I was thinking of how this wouldn’t happen to me:

Watering plants, with a gardening hose, being a terribly suspicious activity and all that.

Watering his neighbor’s plants.

The charges against the pastor were rightfully dropped. Seems fairly perverse that they were filed to begin with.

Let’s check in on the Poplars Building, the one too wild to tame, too tough to implode, too slow to be scrapped to death. The cleanup continues on the ground. No tearing down of what’s left of the building today. (Maybe they found the room Elvis stayed in?) Elvis stayed there.

And people know that. It is a remarkable thing for here. It is remarked upon. That’s something to hang your hat on, one supposes. Of course, there’s also a statue honoring the future birth of a fictional war criminal. (The war criminal joke is one of the best in Star Trek. It’s a reliable chuckle. That we have people who put a bust up for a character that’ll be born in 2336? That’s hysterical. There are layers to this, the tongue-in-cheek joke, the get-a-life joke and, finally, this-is-a-remarkable-thing?)

I read this in Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization this evening. It’s one part of a poem in the “Táin Bó Cúailnge,” an epic of Irish mythology. Noisiu was killed by a jealous king, and is lamented by Derdriu. “Though for you the times are sweet with pipers and with trumpeters …”

The whole of it is merely excerpted here by Cahill, and I’ve done it an even greater injustice, but if you pull it out and let it stand on it’s own, it’s just as heartrending as the rest of the lament.

A bit later, he gets to Patricius, the fifth-century missionary and bishop in Ireland, the “Apostle of Ireland,” St. Patrick. The first two paragraphs here, they are drive-by sociology, dangerous and liberating, and good enough for a book that I’ll read.

Fragments of a great papyrus.

The next time I need to name something portentous, that’s on the shortlist.

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