Thursday, April 30, 2015

Walkabout


I've been very bad at keeping up my blogs lately, chiefly because I haven't been writing since this time last year (!). I've been all over the shop - visiting friends in Clare, Derry, Monaghan and Cavan. Also gardening here, there and everywhere - Jampa Ling work weekend and up in the Wicklow Mountains. When I'm not writing I get either sluggish and morose or madly restless and footloose. Which leads me to a serious commitment I have made to one of my bucket list items: the Camino Santiago. Si, I will be heading there soon. More about that anon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stand Up For Tibet


March 10 is the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The uprising failed against the overwhelming forces of the Red Army. His Holiness the Dalai Lama went into exile in India. The destruction of the nation of Tibet continues today with the policy of mass settlement of Han Chinese to make Tibetans a minority in their own country. Tibetan language and culture are suppressed while the Tibetan people suffer discrimination, arrest and torture. It is a crime to display their flag or images of the Dalai Lama. Western countries show friendliness and respect to Tibetans and the Dalai Lama but they do not stand up for Tibet against the Chinese with whom they are all doing business. Commercial interests win out over ethical concerns and human rights. Today I joined fellow Buddhists and Tibetans in a show of support for Tibet on O'Connell Street and a march to the Irish government buildings. It's important that we do not forget.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Still Navigating Dark Seas


This be a longer journey than most but here's something I wrote a while back after waking in the middle of the night: What do you do when your world is falling apart? When you see the chaos coming? When you are assailed by worries about your child's safety? Your finances? Your future? You accept the truth. In all its stark horror. That there is no security, no safety, no permanence. We live on the edge of catastrophe every day of our lives. Once we accept this - and push past the terror - we can reach a state of calm. And we can begin to love. Love all around us. Be kind. Be gentle. Love people, animals, plants, insects. Love every second that we live and breathe. Cherish every moment that we are here. For this life is a 'brief sojourn' between two great mysteries:from where we came and to where we go. We don't need to live a big life ... only a life with a big heart.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BeannactaĆ­ na Nollag!


Apologies for not keeping up my blogs. The latter half of this year has been quite difficult for me and I've been slow to do any writing at all. Hopefully that will change in the new year. Meanwhile, I am busy with Christmas preparations. By way of a Yuletide card, here is a beautiful photograph sent to me by a Finnish artist I met during the summer. (Photo credit: Sirpa Pyykko)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Skellig Michael


A boat took us from Valentia Island to Skellig Michael. How to describe such an incredible experience? Transcendant. Hundreds of stone steps lead up a sharp incline to the stone monastery hanging on the side of a cliff on an island in the Atlantic. To think of the monks living here over a thousand years ago, praying, chanting, ekeing out a living - fish, puffins, gannets, and whatever they could grow. As well as the monastic magic, it was nesting season for the puffins. No longer hunted, they walk around happily. The cutest things! And after the visit to the island (several hours of bliss on a beautiful sunny day), the boat took us around Skellig Beag (Little Skellig) which homes the second largest gannet colony in the world - 25,000 mating pairs! White birds with golden heads, an island that no human sets foot on: the Palace of the Birds, ringing with song. I'll post some more shots later.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Irish Craic





This cannot be missed. It is so funny. Three lads doing Irish dancing all around the world. You can't beat the Irish for hilarious humour.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy Ballybunnions!



I'm going a bit video mad at the moment but this is great craic as we say in Ireland. A lot of white Irish rhythm but there are those who can dance, T.G. The garda (policewoman), the drummer and the Supervalu staff are my favourites but they are all brilliant. This will definitely put a smile on your face.