Saturday, November 21, 2009

Its Damp but where ok

Friday morning my friends in Cork woke at 2am to the sound of running water, and went downstairs to find water pouring through their floor. Two weeks of record-breaking rain had finally overwhelmed the dam upstream, and officials were forced to let out water to avoid a bigger catastrophe if it were to burst. Cork, lying on an island between two channels of the River Lee, had become part of the river. By the morning, the water had reached the top of the kitchen table where I had sat every day over the summer.

People lost businesses. The art museum lost the works that were stored in its basement. Several houses may be irrevocably damaged. The city has been essentially shut down. Who knows what the costs of repair will be.

Immediately upon hearing the news, I wrote to friends in various corners of the devastated city to let them know of my prayers, coveting the scarce pieces of news I could acquire from their facebook information and my own internet searches.

This morning I heard from Finbar, a native Corkonian whose blue-collar upbringing, shady history, warm hospitality, and simple approach to life (not to mention his nearly incomprehensible accent) set him apart as pure Cork, through and through. He responded to my concern with a short note that, both in its brevity and its message (not to mention its diction), well-depict what seems to me to be the Irish approach to suffering:

“Thanks for the prayers but don't worry where fine out. Its Damp but where ok.”

It’s damp.

How Irish. How delightfully Irish.


Cliff said...

I don't know why, but a lot of Irish influences have been finding their ways into my life of late...

Cliff said...

Saying that to say, I really appreciate the gist of this post.

Anonymous said...

is"wher"e just the irish way of saying we're?
And do they grossly understate everything???
Three feet of water in the kitchen is more than damp...