Random Writings and Photos

random

Archive for March, 2010

Ocean City Took My Breath

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on March 26, 2010

Stopped breathing.  Just like that.  The ocean had been cold.  Much colder than I’d expected from a warm Spring day. It was early in the beach season.  The winter had been harsh. Cold currents still flowed past the Jersey shore where my parents had dragged all seven kids. Normally, in Summer, they dragged us out of our comfortable beds early on a gray Baltimore morning, drove us across the Bay Bridge and down to the Ocean City on Maryland’s coast. I had no idea there was another Ocean City in New Jersey, and I have no memory of why we went there.
Me and my brother John had run into the waves, let them knock us over, felt the water churning and rolling over our heads.  We never tried to swim in the crashing surf, just dived under the waves and tried to touch bottom. Felt the undertow trying to drag us out to sea. Tried to body surf our way back to the beach. That was our relationship with the ocean. The younger kids were still too young to play in the surf like that.  They were walking along the sand, sticking their feet in the frigid water and running away from the incoming waves.
Me and John were the oldest. We did what we wanted sometimes. We were always together:  walking to school, serving mass as altar boys in the early mornings, riding our bikes miles away from home, sledding down the steep city streets in winter, building a tree house, or carrying groceries home from the store down the road.
Sometimes, when fighting the wild bucking waves and swift undercurrent, I’d do my best to stay under water as long as possible. John and I were pretty good at holding our breath.  I always hoped to see fish, crabs or starfish on the ocean bottom.  I was always digging in it, hoping to find something.
I came up after a long dive and didn’t see John anywhere.   No big deal.  He’d probably gone in.  I was freezing anyway.  Even my frenetic play hadn’t warmed me up all that much.  I headed into the warm dry sand towards my father.   I still didn’t see John anywhere. I knew Dad would know where he was.  As I got closer to him, I felt funny.  My body had instantly started to warm under the 75 degree sun, but I felt hotter than that. My breath became ragged, uncertain. I sped up, saw my dad turn his head towards me, and that was all I saw.
I awoke on my back, but my hair was full of sand.  A crowd encircled me.  “What happened?” I heard a voice ask.  I wanted to know that myself. Another disembodied voice in the crowd answered, “I think some old man drowned.”  Old man? At 15, I could hardly look old.  My dad was there too, looking down at me.  He picked me up.  A beach jeep pulled up, and hands grabbed me, loaded me into the jeep. It flew along the sand, bouncing and twisting.  Suddenly we were off the beach, on the street. An ambulance waited.  I was hustled into it.  A mask was pushed onto my face.  Oxygen poured into my nose and mouth. It felt good.  I didn’t notice anything else, but I wondered where John was.
Next thing I knew, I was lifted onto a gurney, rolled into a curtained-off room.  “I’m cold,” I remember saying.  It was warm in the room; everyone was in swimsuits around me.  The air was humid, but I shivered in all that heat.  A thick wool blanket was dropped over me.  I shook, uncontrollably.  I just couldn’t warm up. “I’m still cold,” I said.  Another heavy, dark green blanket was draped over me.  I still shivered, amazed that I could be so cold, warm as the day was, and covered in heavy blankets.  I felt like a freak.  Well, I was, I guess.  Turns out my rare allergy to cold had been my nemesis. In recent years, after playing for hours in the snow, and coming in the house to warm up, I had developed swollen hands, fingers that wouldn’t bend, red blotches on my face.  But this was summer!  Somehow, the cold ocean currents had swollen the muscles in my throat, tightening around my windpipe, cutting off my air.  As I warmed up, my breathing slowed, and I relaxed.  My parents had my clothes. I got dressed.  I remember being back in the station wagon, surrounded by all the other kids, including John, next to me as always. Freaks need their families.

Posted in family, Life, medical, My Life, Writing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Party time! to not forget history

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on March 17, 2010

I carry an Irish name
just part of my lineage
but important   I think.
I got the name from my father
he died – too much tobacco in his lungs
he got the name from his father
he died – bad lungs
too much mustard gas
he got his name from his father

who got his name from his father
a refugee from occupied Ireland.

I don’t know how he died
but I’ll bet he choked on the memory
of leaving his home to the British
the Anglos killed Celtic  men  women  children
took their land
sold some as slaves
no Irish could own land or money
no Irish could speak their native tongue
no Irish could have any other religion but that
of the bloody church of England
No school allowed, no life no culture

Not people       slaves
without hope     without justice
without reason   to live.

They fought and died for freedom
from the bloody English imperialists
who tried to own
the whole world    and failed.
They screwed the Irish even harder
took       their forests   their elk
their land      their money
their language  their culture.

The English fought the spirit of an entire nation
a people that had fought its way across Europe
survived invasions by Norsemen
by Vikings    by Romans
and invasions by the bloody British
’till any sane people would have gone mad with despair
again and again and again.

But the Irish fought back
the British killed them   jailed them
took more land   more crops   more slaves
left the Irish people potatoes.

Their crocodile tears did nothing
for the starving people of Ireland
when the potatoes lost heart.

So the Irish escaped their hell
joined relatives in Australia,
the United States, Mexico, Canada, and other places
Those that survived the trip.

I have their blood in me

the blood of the dispossessed, the beaten, the despised

the hated people who lived in Briton
before the British
who lived as one great people
artisans   bronze workers
honorable     egalitarian
young and old, male and female
many tribes and clans.

The Romans started the slaughter
started the theft of Celtic lands.
The Brits came and took more and more and
more and more and more and more.
But Ireland still exists
Independence for the southern part!
hope to many

But the British still own most of the land
and the factories
and cling to the stolen land in the North
as if it was somehow theirs to defend.
To defend from what?
from joint rule? from democratic elections?
guilty over their own bloody past
they are afraid of retribution.

The Irish clans and tribes lived their own
life   happily   if not always peacefully
but it was their land    their own fights
they had a system of justice praised
by the Roman invaders themselves.
They remind me of the Native peoples
of the Americas
forced from their land
forced to give up their cultures
forced to speak Spanish, or English
killed and beaten and raped as
were my ancestors too.

I don’t wonder at the Irish names
the Irish names that some
Native Americans carry    and the
marriages between Irish immigrants and
Native American peoples.
We are family, after all
we believed in the same things
people    land    even gods
gods who brought rain and sun
and game and water and fire.
in a simpler time
before the English brought their      civilization
to the Celtic tribes

and
British and Spanish brought their     civilization
to the American tribes.

Many of us drink a bit too much
after hundreds of years of
civilized rape     murder    theft.
and we distrust each other
see skin color as a barrier
as if the invaders ever cared
if we were white or brown or red.
To them we were all inferior
scum  vermin  heathens  savages
We know we are not.
similar history
similar struggle
We carry on.

Wouldn’t it be something
wouldn’t it be absolutely fucking amazing
it we saw each other as brothers and sisters
under the skin
on the skin
of our Earth?

Posted in madness | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
angelalimaq

food, travel and musings of a TV presenter.

Crumble Cult

By Tony Single

Southern Georgia Bunny

Adventures of an Southern Bunny everything from dating, sex, life and shake your head moments.

A Narcissist Writes Letters, To Himself

A Hopefully Formerly Depressed Human Vows To Practice Self-Approval

Katrina K Guarascio

Katrina K Guarascio

Amanda Rudd's Blog

fantasy/scifi writer, crazed academic, and unrepentant geek

Midnight, Texas

www.lathamcasting.com

Something Like a Storybook

from Morgan Bradham

CONTRARY BRIN

Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

UNDER

CONSTRUCTION

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.