"they didn't know that music saved my soul"

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Here's to American music from the 1980s, strong drink, legendary holidays based on some event that probably never happened and lends no credibility to a day of debauchery. But, we (I) rationalize, after a day of fevers and blah, we (I) need a day of heavy drinking. Yay, St. Patrick's day! Just kidding. We actually need a day of 80s music. That, I think, we can handle. Two years ago today, Mike and Pat and B and I were in Dublin, Ireland, attempting unsuccessfully to sleep above the world's loudest pub. Whoever told me that St. Pat's day in Ireland wasn't as big of a deal as it is here was full of it. In fact, it was a city-wide frat party--complete with bar fights, drunken people of all ages puking in the gutters, random hook-ups, and terrible, greasy bar food being served by every restaurant, even in little carts roaming up and down the narrow brick streets. Bono wasn't anywhere to be found, but I certainly saw his inspiration for "Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World." On that day at least, Dublin was replete with traditional negative stereotypes of the Irish--fighting, drunk, unable to save enough money to pay the rent. The next day (an unofficial national holiday as well) the drug stores were stuffed to the gills with post-partiers needing remedies to headaches, toothaches, bellyaches. All in all, it was a great time. Actually, I get pretty down thinking about it. We had such amazing times together. I got pissed off at them plenty, for irresponsible living above all. But I realize that they were God's instruments letting me know that there are more important things than being responsible all the time. Love means doing stupid stuff sometimes. However, I still think the significant question is whether or not being stupid or irresponsible sometimes is in service of a greater context of selflessness. Take the parable of the lost sheep, coin, and prodigal son, for instance. There the sacrifice of the one is an unacceptable loss. I guess that one sheep, coin, person is worth everything. So we're supposed to (seemingly irresponsibly) go after the one. Or maybe that's not prescriptive but descriptive of what God does to/for us. Either way, that selflessly irresponsible act is something we should take seriously. A problem with self-focused irresponsibility, though, is that it knows no bounds--anything can be rationalized in self-interest, perhaps the ludicrous more easily than the responsible. Given that the human heart can be deceptive, self-focused, it still seems more wise to do the rational thing, to not give in to the irrational. It seems inconceivable that the couple that we went to Ireland with--who we laughed and cried with, who we saw through every imaginable stress of finances and differences of opinion, whose daughter we are godparents to, who we cut down Christmas trees with every year, who we downed Guinesses with every St. Patty's day--are no more. Their road to destruction was paved over the muddy path of least resistance, of "good enough for now" fixes to long-term problems. And lots and lots of self-focused, irrational decisions. So here we are, two years wiser. I hope that if they would stumble across this one day that they'd see it the same way. Perhaps they already do. Happy St. Patrick's Day. Blame it on the rain. Yeah, yeah.


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