Sunday, 30 September 2012

hard to find

...and every minute of every day is not long enough,

and the present is hard to find...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Empty Spaces

There are spaces on the wall where I'd grown used to seeing paintings. The paint in the empty spaces is a different colour, that's how long the pictures have hung there. It's tempting to rush to fill the empty spaces. But no. I think I'll live with the spaces for a little while. Blank space can be precious too.

At Curracloe beach

Who would I be, if I didn't have to be anyone?

Sand, sea, sky, rainbow. All just being.

Beyond roles, beyond responsibilities, beyond any definitions of being. Just being. A grain of sand is a grain of sand. For thousands of years. A rainbow is a rainbow. For a few seconds or minutes.

Bounded in this body for a few decades, being all the roles life brings; daughter, mother, student, worker, professional, friend, helper, teacher - endless roles. Beyond the roles, who would I be?

(with thanks to Quinn McDonald at Quinn Creative for prompting the questioning )

Friday, 28 September 2012

Hackles rise

With a dog, it's all on the surface. He sees a stranger he's unsure of and his hackles rise. I wonder how much emotional energy it takes us civilised humans to keep our real feelings politely veiled?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

There's a cow bellowing fit to bust half a mile away, and close by, horses already wearing their winter coats make soft gentle sounds under their breath behind the hedgerow as they graze their way gently round the field. The sky's lighting up now in all directions, purple lifting to red and gold, as a pale nearly full moon rises in the east, and the sun disappears in the west. The neighbour's dogs protest as we pass their gates, noisily, from somewhere behind the house. And I make my way home to the fire.

The cactus has flowered!

Standing in the kitchen, not really looking at anything and talking on the phone, I suddenly notice the cactus has flowered. From something unpromising, the most gorgeous blossom!
Celebrating cactus blossom, and grateful for it's beauty.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Seasonal shift to grey

Just past the Autumn equinox, and here is winter, arrived overnight; grey skies, rain and more rain, cold winds, dark evenings, dark mornings. It's said our bodies need rest at this seasonal time of shift. I certainly feel I could burrow under a deep pile of leaves, and sleep until spring. Seasonal shift brings a great need to rest, which the world we live in neglects to allow.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sunday treat

They sit in silence at the table.
The girl reads her book.
Dad feeds the baby and
stares into middle distance.
Mom tries to enjoy the fact
that her hands are free, stares
out the window and back again.
Family Sunday. At peace.
No drama. No drama at all

Saturday, 22 September 2012


here's buddha from behind, on the day that is equal to night. Equinox. Day and night of equal length, heralding autumn - though its already been here.

Out walking a stray caterpillar - a hairy molly - wiggling its way across the road. It's way too late in the year for caterpillars. But still, there it was, an autumn equinox caterpillar.

Telling me, "maybe its not too late, as autumn arrives, to start a new journey of transformation".

Looking at buddha from a different angle. Looking at life from a different angle. Equinox.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Darkness falls early

Autumn sunset Vartry Lakes
Feel the seasons shift. Darkness falls early, and even the light changes at dusk. Seasons shift. Summer to Autumn. All is safely gathered in.

Gather in the summer self, begin to retreat as darkness falls. As the lake reflects the cool expanse of sky.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Running on a treadmill at one
hundred miles an hour, and
dreaming of a soft bed, (white quilt,)
in an orchard, (bees buzzing,)
(apples gently ripening,)
while the treadmill moves faster,
and faster,
and faster.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Welcome to Monday

The sun's just rising.

The grass is wet, and cold on my feet, but it looks like it'll be a nice day. September sun.

Another chance to start to live a different kind of life. To walk lightly on this earth and not take it all so seriously.

Welcome to Monday

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Begin to imagine

I live in a very beautiful part of the world. Looking out from my garden, I can look across the Wicklow Mountains towards Lugnaquilla.

I've just walked the dogs down the road, across the crossroads, and over towards Carrig. One car passed us. The winds are strong today, although it's dry now after this morning's heavy rains. The trees and hedges either side of the road seem to dance in the wind, and a crow and two magpies lift above the trees, almost as if they're competing to see who can glide on the wind for longer. A few late swallows swoop low over the road, preparing for their winter migration. They'll be back next year, I know.

I grew up in inner city Birmingham. Sparkhill - rough and tough. Not sink estate rough. Just melting pot rough. Men vomiting outside pubs on Saturday night, gingerly stepping around the pools of sick as we made our way in our best clothes to the bus stop on Sunday mornings to go to mass at the Polish Church in town.

We played out all the time, in the summer until after ten at night. What did we do? Climbed onto the electricity generator, played in abandoned cars, played cricket, chalking the stumps on the brick gable wall of a house. I couldn't have imagined living somewhere like this.

My world was concrete, brick, ashpalt, plane trees enclosed by paving slabs, buses and cars and smells, rubbish blowing around outside the newsagent's shop. I used to escape to what passed as country. Tritiford Park - a stream with a few trees between the backs of rows of houses. The weir - a few concrete slabs across the stream where we'd swim in the murk The canals - so neglected that no-one else went there. The waste ground, up behind the old BSA ground, where wild flowers and grass had started to grow again.

There was no way to imagine this life to imagine this beautiful place where I live, less than an hour from the capital.

I wonder what lies ahead, things and places I can't even begin to imagine?

So much to do....

Some mornings, the world feels overwhelming; so much to do, so much to do.

And then I look back, and look back again. These self imposed duties, stretching back through the years, back to the start, where the task of fixing the world seemed to fall on my shoulders and mine alone.

I dreamed last night of going home in the middle of the day, of leaving the work and the duties, and sinking into a pool of warm water. It felt sweet and good.

The world overwhelms with all its demands. And I remind myself these demands come from within. The world just keeps on turning, as worlds do, and we play out the stories we've made up about our lives.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Forest and sunshine

Beautiful Avondale.

The world hurls its outrageous arrows at you, an unjust world, as the arrows pierce the skin,
and still, late afternoon sunshine penetrates the trees between showers,
and around you ancient trunks,
and before you a straight path,
and those arrows land harmlessly in the grass as you walk towards the sunshine.

Sometimes the world feels heavy

At Huntington Gardens, Co Wicklow, Ireland
The quote "I would like to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding" is by John O'Donohur
Sometimes the world feels heavy, like an old fashioned winter coat that is too big, bought for someone older, weighing me down at the shoulders, it's hem brushing the ground.

When I was small, we had an old army greatcoat in the house. When you put it on, it smelt dour and heavy before you were even aware of it's weight. The material was rough and scratchy, so thick you could hardly bend your arms in the sleeves. And it was heavy, heavy, heavy.

Some mornings, the world feels heavy too. Responsibility weighing heavily on my shoulders and enfolding me in is stiff cloth. "I would like to live like a river flow, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding".

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sunday, 9 September 2012

First leaves falling

September. First leaves falling. The world turns and turns and turns again. You look around, and years have passed, and all that was spring is now late summer, with autumn waiting just around the corner. Somewhere far away, galaxies spiral, stars are born and others die. And in this small corner of a small universe, first leaves are falling.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Shaky start

Not the best start in life. The seed dropped by the wind, or some passing bird onto this steep, shaded slope. Still, it germinated in the warmth of the soil, and clung to the hillside, resisting the pull of rainwater running down and through the slope from the open field above to the stream below. Ignoring its shaky start, it grew, up and up, until it's crown reached the light. Wide roots spread across the slope, holding it firmly in place, stopping it from slipping down.

Maybe our own shaky starts give us what we need to spread our roots wide and hold ourselves rooted in our lives. And yes, despite the unpromising start, we can reach the light.

Friday, 7 September 2012

and then step outside

...and then step outside, into the dark,
after lifting the sleeping boy into the house, step outside and down to the end of the drive.

To the North, the hills behind Roundwood silhouetted against the sliver of pale orange light that is Dublin. To the South, ghostly white behind clouds as the moon begins it's rise. South West, and the lights of Rathdrum twinkle silently in the valley. And directly above, the Big Dipper dips in an inky black sky. A lone sheep somewhere calls to itself and falls silent for lack of answer. And then, all is still and silent.

There is nothing to be scared of, here in this dark. The night is still, and finally, at the end of the day, the week, so am I.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Yearning for space

Yearning for some space.
Yearning for some space in which my heart can beat freely.
Yearning for some rest.
Yearning for some rest in which my eyes can close gently.
Dreaming of murderous deeds, resisting the steps that need to be taken,
The steps that lead to change.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Dragonfly hovering over flower

I spotted this dragonfly today in a client's garden. I've been trying to find out a little more about it, and in doing so have discovered a lot more about dragonflies. They are hunters, they can be strongly territorial, some migrate, and many will actually respond to your presence.

Apparently, the dragonfly symbolizes change, and change in the perspective of self realisation. The kind of change that has it's source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

You can read more about the dragonfly and myths surrounding it here:

I was struck most by how still it was as it hovered, almost motionless. Still and present. It's attention wholly on the flower. A dragonfly lesson.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Sunset over the Curragh

A long old day. Lots of driving, lots of walking around, just the standard demands of the day, and finally driving homeward, I stopped at The Curragh to give the dogs a short walk. The sun was just setting. How beautiful the world is.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Autumn arrives

Autumn arrives, and with it
Days of Indian summer, followed
By swift descent of sun, with
Softly muted colour on the horizon.
Autumn arrives, with berries plump
And black on every bush between
Here and the crossroads. The grass
Still growing strong but wetter for
Longer, making the cutting a gift,
A blessing perforformed in a
Sweet sanctuary of place. Autumn
Srrives with the school notes and
Timetables and satisfying conflicting
Rights. Autumn. Stand tall and taste
Each sweet berry. Autumn. A precious
Gathering in, of all that was sowed.

On Edge