Category Archives: General thoughts

Their sound of silence

See this image?

Image result for TUAM BABIES

It is level. Quiet. Undisturbed. The ground is even and smooth. Its very marginal nature is intended. It makes me think back to the marriage referendum, when person after person  after person in our society came forward to disclose that they were gay. These people were not deviants, strangers or outside the mainstream; instead they were establishment figures well within the status quo, and who had operated and achieved much within our communities. And yet, they had lived a life somewhere both within and without our world. where they were made to feel different and excluded, because they were. They were people who were not part of how society views itself. Instead, they lived lives that were at least in terms of its dialogue, silent and unfree. The silence was imposed both within and without; Ursula Halligan says she never spoke of her sexuality to her family, in her need to avoid exclusion. Pat Neary was never out either; years and years of not being able to be himself without fear in our country.

We hate. We hate well in this country, with passion, history and layers. Right now, as I type, the Citizens Assembly listens to testimony regarding the need to repeal the 8th Amendment. It invites Churches, but will not hear from TFMR people, an oversight that is outrageous. But lets go back to that field; that quiet, lonely, smooth field. That silence is what is wanted. Shut up.  You need to shut up. It is the same silence one finds on battle fields and in cemeteries. It is the silence of rooms empty of the living and loved. Those horrible people who destroy the doctrines of hate are silenced and are no more.

The last entry of Anne Frank’s diary is the 1st of August, and after that there is a white, silent, page. That silence is the desire here. We can be compounded, capitalised and calcified into nothings, ground like pestle and mortar by the greed of them that will have us for their pleasure or their worth, and then we will be made silent and uncomplaining by the deeds of their ways. They will destroy us, make us silent, and let the sweet calm pastures left after us testify that there is no loss or damage to be noted. We were not here. The loss of us is no loss at all. Let that which was here be not here from now on. Let our words be silent, and not heard. Let the wind alone be heard as our voices.

These people have been free to kill us; there are people not here who should be here today. They will continue to act in this way if allowed. For the sake of overly silent rooms, this must not continue.

Image result for empty room

It is Dangerous to go alone.

As a kid and young adult I would fantasise about finding some place where I see and hear nobody. I would get from one end of the year to another with no sight of anyone, and I would, I would tell myself, be free. From what, I’m not sure, but I would be free of it.

The point of that, though, is that we grow up. We realise that both the best and the worst of us is brought about by other people. When we’re alone, we’re never ourselves, we’re always a mere potential of ourselves. Instead, when we’re among others, we grow, change and stretch into the people we can be, often whether we want to or not.

“Well, fuck.”

Being alone seems like a treat, an ease of the demands of life. But instead, it means that you’re never free of yourself and the life that you lead. When you are with the others you want to be with, then you find both life and yourself easier.

Don’t go it alone. Just.. trust me on this one.

Any ideas?

I wish I could come up with something wonderful for you all, but it is Sunday. Beloved son is asleep. In fifteen minutes I’m going to get up from this chair, put on a load of laundry, get things ready for the rest of the week and start linner (cross between lunch and dinner). This is the down time, here, right here. The coming week will see me at work, with a very busy day Tuesday, a very busy and long day on Wednesday, and an increasing storm as we approach Professorship interviews here in work.

This going to be a doddle.

And that is in fact the day job. The real work is the little man, making sure he is developing, looked after and okay. This weekend he’s had ear infections in both ears and had to have meds four times a day. That’s not going to stop just  because his mother has plans, as it shouldn’t. So I’m going to draw a line under this blog now, go off and enjoy the rest of this next fifteen minutes and then get stuff done. Talk to you all soon.

A Horrible Blog to Write

We all try to project a bit, don’t we? We try to imagine what life will be like when we reach 20, 30, 40, or where we will be when the New Year starts, or such. I remember believing as a child that when 1999 rolled around, I’d be living on the Moon.

When things surprise us, really surprise us, it is a shock to the system. I remember wondering to myself many years ago how things would turn out for some old ex or other, and to my amazement discovered I was absolutely right. He did end up an old louche in a bar. Ah, bless.

Let’s keep it that way.

Still, never saw this one coming. Some of you know about me and Alan Rickman. We’ve been in love for years, if only in my head. I saw him in Die Hard, loved him. Saw him in Truly Madly Deeply, loved him. Harassed him for an autograph on the set of Michael Collins. He did that speech of De Valera six times. The first time he silenced all four thousand extras with the perfection of his performance. Four thousand people, with slack jaws, because of him.

Got to see him, and meet him, at his performance of Borkman in the Abbey. He was perfection, and wonderful, and nice to everyone. I heard afterwards that some workers in the Abbey nearly resigned over the egos during that play, I hope he wasn’t one of them.

When my book was written I was stupid or brave enough to send him a copy. An astonishingly nice letter came back saying that he had it and that he was grateful for it. He didn’t know me, or owe me anything. If he was faking manners or gratitude he was very good at it.

He was interesting and rare and very very good at what he did. He was also a construct; He was not upper middle class at all. He was working class, pure and simple. His Dad was Irish Catholic. He got to a good school. He started late, and went to RADA in his late twenties. His first film role was in his forties.

I will miss wondering what he is in now. I will miss seeing his face get older as mine gets older, I will miss his voice. I will miss him like an old friend and I don’t deserve to at all. I am not his friend, was never his friend. Doesn’t matter.

Will still miss him.

The poem here starts at 3.21. Night night Alan. God bless.

Tick tock…

We’re nearly at the solstice, the much longed-for indication that Winter is at it’s peak and soon the darkness will be replaced with light.

Taken in Mount Yosemite, USA

Oh happy day! I am so over the darkness of Winter. I rise and go to sleep in darkness, and am very much fed up with it. This morning, at 8am, the sky was so dark  it seemed like the middle of the night. Enough, already, Nature, you’ve made your point.

So we head towards Christmas, and Saturnalia. As traditions go, it’s worth keeping up no matter what your sense of faith or religion. And all of it is worthwhile; a massive feast, a festival of lights, a gathering of the clan to keep away the darkness…

And I have nothing done. Not a card sent, not a tree bought. I think I will have to get through the next few weeks moving as fast as those Tasmanian devil cartoons from me youth….

Right. Best get cracking. Talk to you next week.

 

 

Sunday Night feelings.

So, it is Sunday. Sunday night, to be exact. I would love to give you a blog full of wisdom and good cheer, that extols the virtues and raises you up to inspiring heights. Or rather, create a funny, cheeky blog, full of wacky adventures that make you grateful for your own ordinary life, your own ways and mannerisms.

Instead, though, I’m just tired. I’m really tired, the kind of tired that is uninspired, unwise, and a bit whiny. I want to stop, stop writing, stop working, stop trying. I want to have my hard work acknowledged by all around me and my goals to come down and meet me half way. I want to be recognised as a good person without any flaws and to have those who seem blind to this fact beg me, just beg me for forgiveness. I want to be the only car on the road, the only voice in my ear, the only paradigm of success for others. I want to be rich, thin, pretty, smart and content.

All this. I’m ungrateful for my lot in life, my son, my husband, my work, my writing, my home, my happiness. There are people out there who would love my problems.

Doesn’t mean they don’t still feel like problems, though. Is it the time of year, do you think? The darkness just goes on and on, and we all get restless and discontent and hunt for things to make us sad? Don’t know. Don’t really care, either. Just wish I could get five more hours sleep per night and more time at work and everything and everything… Anyways. The writing is continuing. The work is all. We’ll get there. And we’ll use the whines as inspiration.

A Tired Seamstress

A Tired Seamstress Angelo Trezzini

Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum

Well, how are ye? No, seriously, how are you? Are you okay, all right? Have you checked in with someone recently, rang them, talked to them, let them hear your voice, made eye contact?  Are you okay, are you at home, safe and untroubled? All your folks okay? All your neighbours?

These days, my friends, these terrible, terrible days. We sit, and horrors play out on the images on our eyes. Toddlers’ bodies flop and slack on beach fronts, teenagers flee down dark streets from concerts. And unlike the gentle words used in newspapers when I was growing up, all of it is visible and clear. Last night I watched video by a journalist who lived across from the Bataclan, showing people jumping over dead bodies at doorways, while on an upper storey window a pregnant woman clung to a metal bar, and pleaded with someone to pull her in, she was slipping. The footage ends before she gets in, there’s no way to know right now if she is okay. If anyone is okay. No one is okay.

The picture of the inside of the Bataclan looks exactly like the end of any concert, bar the larger mass of the bodies.

And what can I do, faced with the visual of these enemies of me, what weapons can I bring to bear on these men, these haters of my ways and my times? What armour can I clad myself in when I see the acts they will do? What can I do that is strong enough to stop them, I who know nothing, I who can do nothing? I am no soldier, not accustomed to hardship or battles. I can call no orders, lead no charge… But I do have in my bag of tricks something that is strong enough against these people. I, and everyone I know, can call forth around them a weapon  as strong as any fanatic, a wall of safety bigger than any gun. I can and do know exactly the form of words that will dispel the power of these men’s ways, and it is exactly strong enough to remove their power on this earth.

This power grew to a concentration just where this latest attack took place, In Paris, where the ideals and principles founded by our own culture and society began to take modern form. This power is founded in the creation of humanity as equal, and where each of us share Rights Inalienable, and undeniable, in the eyes of the executive and legislative function of our state. It is in the ideals of proportionality, in the concepts of Fairness and Privacy, in the motto and guide of our fallen brothers, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. It has its own magic phrases such as Habeas Corpus, Presumption of Innocence, and deorum Injuriae Diis Curae, phrases stronger than any spell Harry Potter could cast about. It is a power brought about by years of argument and counter-argument, from men like Hume, Locke, Kant. It has just as much imagination, power, and yes, perhaps even magic, behind it, to make the world safe again.

These men, who would destroy us, know nothing of us, for they don’t know we can control the very turn of the earth with these words. They think we are all alike, and that we will live in fear and hate because they must. They think we will turn into them, and hate back, kill back, because that is all we can do. But they are wrong, for we have laws as strong as a mother’s love for her child’s heart. We will find these men, and all the other men. We will track them down, and we will stop them. We will look them deep in the eye, and do the one thing they do not want us to do.

We will arrest them in the name of the Law, that thing that they act against and that thing we must use now more than ever.

In the name of the Law, may it always be strong.

Something Has To Give.

Hello, sports fans. Hopefully you’re indoors on this rainy, play-called-off Sunday. I’ve the headphones on listening to Chopin, himself is cooking listening to ACDC (hence the headphones), and the child is either asleep or burning something around here somewhere. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to get a few lines down.

In terms of writing, still managed to get into the desk twice this week at 6.30am in the morning. We have now reached the thirty-one thousand word mark, and I’m reaching the inner landmarks of this novel that I’ve carried around with me for so long. One of them was reached this Thursday, in an early morning session that was just wonderful. One of these characters is, after a dreadful period in her life, regaining her sense of humour. As she lies in bed at the end of a long day, her imagination takes on a long fantasy so comically outrageous, she makes herself burst out laughing, the first time she’s laughed in years. I’ve carried that moment around in my head over and over and over again, a glass snowball of her life and her heart in that exact moment that I have had to write out to finally make free. And this Thursday she and I finally got there, we finally got to see it together.

A lot of paddling to get to that shore…

But all this is taking its toll. I’m exhausted, and really I don’t have much in the way of mental … character left in me by doing this. I normally am scrupulous with what I eat, but I just can’t keep that up this week. I came home and made Chicken Casserole with tonnes of potatoes. It tasted amazing, but the carbs should have been a big no-no. I’m finding my hands full, of all these loose fraying threads, and there is only so much energy I can give to everything. Someone took too long at a traffic light on the way home on Friday and the fury I felt was irrational, exhausted, just nonsense.

By the end of this I’m going to be a basket case. Seriously. I’m going to be nuts.

Don’t care. I think.

Writing and the writers writing it writes.

Greetings, mes amies. I write from a messy table in a messy kitchen in a messy life. Does anyone ever get this right? No one we’d like, any way. Had an interesting moment recently when on the top of the bus with little Man. There was just him, me, and another mum with her daughter. This situation, where female parents are in close proximity, tends to lead to one of them attempting a “Mummy Off”. It isn’t a smack down, with Ikea chairs broken over-pilated backs, nothing so honest. Instead there is a subtle testing of each other over the worth of little Sebastian or Cassandra. The problem for me is that I don’t care. Little Man does not speak French, nor do I wash his hair with homemade shampoo. The only thing he might win is, indeed, a smack down, and in such a comp I’d advise you to put a tenner on him, kid’s a scrapper.

I had to remove the ruder tattoos…

Anyways. Another week of writing done and behind me. It is Sunday, and I’ve been up at 5.30 am to go into work to write from 6.30 am. And while on Tuesday I got a mere two thousand words done, on Thursday I managed to get a whopping four thousand words done. Wow. Just wow. However, there is a problem with that. Because it was then 8.30 am in the morning, and everyone else was showing up and starting a day’s work. I had to go into a three hour meeting and I found that my brain had no intention of giving it any real effort. It reminded me of something…

Yeah. That was it.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead of you…

Le Writing Journal

Mon amies, bonjour. J’ecrive mon lettre dans l’cusine avec mon mari, et le file ete dormir in the sitting room, and that is about as much French as I can recall in my exhausted state.  Little man has decided again that early mornings are preferable, and I am killed all over again. Added to the wonderful person who decided that the best place to fly a large plane was over my house at 5.30am and I am actually not going to put myself behind the wheel of a car any time today. I’m in that tired state when if you close your eyes you automatically start dreaming. I don’t mean sleep, I mean you go straight to dreaming, so that when you are woken again you have to recollect that that you are the jowl faced old wan you are, rather than the lion tamer worried about the butter cream melting. Yeah. I don’t know what it means either.

It means you want to be a horse.

So, it is another Sunday. I’ve kept up with the writing and we have nicely broken the ten thousand mark. I am seeing the pace slow down, however, as I get better at the writing, rather than just the typing. You can see the seasons as the sky gets colder at that hour, and the moon shines high, and bright, over the insanity of walking across a dark campus at 6.00. I am loving it much much more than the swimming, but ironically the writing is much harder on the body than the exercise. At the end of one of the early morning sessions, I find myself easing myself out of the chair like a hostage without the ropes. Each limb has to be painfully stretched out, sloooowly, to get the blood back in there, and to remind myself that there is a life outside of these women, we’re done with them for now.

“Oh god me back.”

It is an amazing moment, though. It is a weird transition, going from the dark night, to reinventing myself as a worker in an office. It is like shaking off dust sheets while I try to convince others I’m kosher and above board.  Trust me!

Right. It’s Sunday, and I need to cosplay as an adult. Wishing you all a grand day.