Joni Mitchell has this song, Big Yellow Taxi, of which two lines came to my mind today. The second line was:fuss
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I had to think about it because it says so much about what is going on today all around us: what counts is the functional, the practical; how cares about beauty, the irrational?

Well, Snámh Phádraig for me was a lesson that there is still some paradise left. None of what these (almost) 50 swimmers did made any sense. It was complete bonkers. Who in their right mind would take off a weekend to jump into freezing cold water and then climb back into the bus to do it a gain, and again, and again – 17 times in under 40 hours. No ‘parking lot’ builder would ever do anything like this. Yet, not only did they do it, but they mobilized thousands of people around the globe to support them in their attempt to support Pádraig’s treatment.

We told Pádraig about the snámbh organized for his support over the weekend. – He is getting better now, almost everyday. Today, his left hand started to move; both of his feet moved and he tried really hard to lift up his legs. We were showing him the Nuacht coverage and yes – Maria and Aodhán and all the others did a marvelous job!

Yet, today, it was the first news item on TG4 Nuacht at 7pm and the second news item on RTÉ Nuacht at 6pm, right after the big news on global warming. It was also a news item on many radio channels and reported on in It will also be on TG4’s Róisín programme tomorrow.

It was a news item on many radio channels and reported on in It will also be on TG4’s Róisín programme tmorrow.

50 friends swim in 17 counties over 38 hours for “loyal and fun” friend in a coma

The first line of Joni Mitchell’s song I remembered today was:
You don’t know what you’ve got
til it’s gone.
No wiser words have ever been spoken.

The pragmatic snámh finished today, the spiritual snámh will be with us forever.


Thank you Aodhán, his helpers, all the swimmers, the pubs offering food and shelter, and the family and friends who so generously supported the swimmers, and therefore Pádraig!

Those who would like to support an individual swimmer can do so here for the next four weeks;

Today’s German Music Tip
Angi Domdey, Unter dem Pflaster (1976). Version from 1981, Angi wrote the song on her way to Hamburg in 1976 to found the women-only band ‘Schneewittchen’. She says that this is a song for ‘Phantasie’ and against the established, hardened structures of our society, against the concrete jungle of our cities, and the fossilization of our thoughts and deeds. The stones taken from the street were not meant to be thrown, but to uncover the sand under the stones and to make room to dance. The lyrics are really nice.

1. Komm laß dich nicht erweichen,
bleib hart an deinem Kern,
rutsch nicht in ihre Weichen,
treib dich nicht selbst dir fern.

Unter dem Pflaster
ja da liegt der Strand
komm reiß auch du
ein paar Steine aus dem Sand.

2. Komm laß dir nicht erzählen,
was du zu lassen hast
du kannst nur selber wählen,
nur langsam, keine Hast.

Unter dem Pflaster …

3. Zieh die Schuhe aus,
die schon so lang dich drücken
lieber barfuß lauf,
aber nicht auf ihren Krücken.

Unter dem Pflaster …

4. Dreh dich und tanz,
dann könn’ sie dich nicht packen
verscheuch sie ganz
mit deinem lauten Lachen.

Unter dem Pflaster …

5. Die größte Kraft
ist deine Phantasie
wirf die Ketten weg
und schmeiß sie gegen sie,
die mit ihrer Macht
deine Kräfte brechen wollen.

Unter dem Pflaster …

What’s hot
Open fires
What’s cold
The Ocean
The German word/phrase/verse of the day
Die größte Kraft ist deine Phantasie

Twitter: @forPadraig