Inspirational Writing

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Pandemic Changes by Pat Farrell

While sitting barefoot in the garden, contemplating life and pandemic induced changes

a blackbird darts in front of me chirruping a loud alarm call to it's mate.

Lazy, stubborn clouds drag their heels across the sky on this windless eve -

going nowhere fast as Summer Solstice approaches.

A wood pigeon coo-coos in a tree while a myriad of invisible tiny birds join the chorus.

Buzzards circle high on the thermals and a dog barks needlessly, incessantly.

Bees, wasps and various other flying insects buzz around the flowers

which are flowering and smelling beautiful and being.

The green grass is being green, the trees are treeing -

ants are anting at my feet and snails are snailing.

In fact the whole world is doing exactly what it always does.

Except us...

What changes?

Thanks to Daniela for this lovely verse - Autumn....

written about 8 years ago, shared at the September 2020 Monday Open Heart meditation, and still relevent today....

Autumn, you are the season about recomencement;
There is satisfaction as the leaves drop from your trees;
And I crunch them under my feet;
The smell reminding me of the interluding of hearts when relationships need to breathe;
Bareness of trees reminding me I am getting wiser as another year comes to an end and the winter approaches with mysteries to unbend.

Do It

from Half A Hug by Pat Ingoldsby - link here to Pat Ingoldsby on wikipedia

Thanks to Sid for heads-up and sharing this verse ...

It resonates with me as once in a while in my life I have been the only one who turns up at meditation or a get-together... and I ask myself, why am I doing this? and realise it is because I want to be here... I am not here from any sense of duty, not to please others, not to prove how spiritual I am, it is just where I am meant to be at this time and place. This verse describes it perfectly..... Nora J. 18th February 2020.

Do it.
It doesn't matter
if it falls apart
or collapses
in pieces.
Do it anyway.
Do it.
It doesn't matter
if you do it crooked
let it fall
or leave bits of it
all over the place.
Do it anyway.
Do it.
It doesn't matter
if people laugh
or walk past
or call you crazy.
Do it anyway.
Do it.
It doesn't matter
if you're the only one.
In fact
it is probably better.
Good luck.
Good love.
You're a winner
before you start.
Do it.

A Parable of Immortality by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”

Gone where? Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”

there are other eyes watching her coming . . .

and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . . ” Here she comes! ”

In Tara's Halls - W.B.Yeats

A man I praise that once in Tara's Halls
Said to the woman on his knees, 'Lie still.
My hundredth year is at an end. I think
That something is about to happen, I think
That the adventure of old age begins."

To many women I have said, "Lie still,"
And given everything a woman needs,
A roof, good clothes, passion, love perhaps,
But never asked for love; should I ask that,
I shall be old indeed.'

Thereon the king
Went to the Sacred House and stood between
The golden plough and harrow and spoke aloud
That all attendants and the casual crowd might hear.
'God I have loved, but should I ask return
Of God or woman, the time were come to die.'

He bade, his hundred and first year at end,
Diggers and carpenters make grave and coffin;
Saw that the grave was deep, the coffin sound,
Summoned the generations of his house,
Lay in the coffin, stopped his breath and died.


In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, We lit the light of hope, And it was not extinguished, In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision, We planted the tree of valour, And it blossomed. In the winter of bondage we saw a vision, We melted the snow of lethargy, And the river of resurrection flowed from it. We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river, The vision became a reality, Winter became summer, Bondage became freedom, And this we left to you as your inheritance. O generation of freedom remember us,
The generation of the vision.

The Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square is dedicated to all those who gave their lives to the cause of Irish Freedom. It was formally opened in 1966, the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising.

Crisis - Ita O'Donovan

Ita was born in Cork but now lives in Clifden where she has been a member of Clifden Writers for some time. Her poetry has been published in a nunber of magazines and anthologies. She broadcasts stories on Connemara Community Radio.

Ancient traditions hold
that earth is sung into being,
each single thing
and there’s a naming.

Yet each singer was unique
and each time
added something new
to the old and the true.

So came sound
and before the word written
came remembrance
and its boundaries.

Without the singing of a country,
what is held is lost.
When that happens
it must be sung back,

Remembrance needed repetition
so the singing could travel,
pass from one to the other
like sean-nós.

grandparent to child,
child to grandchild.
Search now for the tuning fork
then listen, listen.

Search in the unnamed
and the sacred places.
Search quickly.

Song of Amergin

I am a stag: of seven points,
I am a flood: across a plain,
I am a wind: on a deep lake,
I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,
I am a hawk: above the cliff,
I am a thorn: beneath the nail,
I am a wonder: among flowers,
I am a wizard:

who but I sets the cool head aflame with smoke?
I am a spear: that roars for blood,
I am a salmon: in a pool,
I am a lure: from paradise,
I am a hill: where poets walk,
I am a boar: ruthless and red,
I am a breaker: threatening doom,
I am a tide: that drags to death,
I am an infant:

who but I peeps from the unhewn dolmen, arch? womb: of every holt?

I am the blaze: on every hill,
I am the queen: of every hive,
I am the shield: for every head,
I am the tomb: of every hope.

There are many versions of the above incantation. It is reputedly the first poem written in Ireland by Amergin whose name means song incarnate "Amhairghin" and seems to be written in Druidic riddle which may refer to phases of the moon and the tree calendar amongst other things. It is a song of Irish sovereignty.

Bernadette shares this poem

Give me a light and I will find my way home,
Give me a chance to travel this road.
If I should stop and rest, it's for the best
I need my energy to go along on this quest.
The light that you give me is the light of my life
If you take it away I'm lost in the night.
So if you look real hard into my soul
And you see a light burning, you will see I am home.

--- oOo---

This poem was read brilliantly by a mother with a special needs son at one of our open Heart meditations.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...... When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

According to Wikipidia: Emily Perl Kingsley is a writer who joined the Sesame Street team in 1970 and has been writing for the show ever since. Her son Jason Kingsley was born with Down Syndrome in 1974. At the time of his birth, it was commonly believed that children with Down Syndrome could never learn to walk or talk. Kingsley's work as a writer and activist for children with special needs helped change this perception.

Bealtaine 'Circle of the Sun' song written by Xenia 2018


For around it turns, the wheel of the year, Spring flowers fall, when the Summer is of life, beauty rebirth comes clear, join the light, when the blossoms appear.

It`s a time, where some Twitter news form our sight,
with Facebook-Fake-Friends looks the loneliness bright,
chasing for changes, but feelings just stay,
all advertisement colour feels grey.
And from this depression we tend to step back,
to the myst`ries of nature we tried to forget,
hear stories and see, what our grandsires have done,
celebrating the circle of sun.
Ung gur, gama he-ja, tyr hafa tunga ma he.
For around it turns...

Seeking for places, where spirits felt stong,
they heard birds and fairies compete in their songs,
coming together and find harmony,
inging, sharing the old mysteries.

For around it turns...
Ung gur, gama he-ja, tyr hafa tunga ma he.
Faithful and patient, in sweat with their hands,
loving the light they built sun monuments,
accepting themselves as a part of the whole,
you can trust, but you cannot control.
For around it turns...
Ung gur, gama he-ja, tyr hafa tunga ma he.
Ung gur, gama he-ja, tyr hafa tunga ma he.

Imbolc Firesong written by Xenia 2018

Cold nights have come and calmed the world,
the land lays down in peace.

Strong winds have blown, what`s left is whirled,
when frozen are beliefs,
Then we light the fire, face the pain
and lend each other hands.
Let the warmth full trust go through your veins
and see the fires dance!
Light of the flame, memories remain,
dance cause you can and bring life through your brain.
When snowflakes cover hope and green,
big steps are seen as sin,
and you feel, you cannot stand the death,
until the new begin,

Then we light the fire, face the pain
and lend each other hands.
Let the warmth full trust go through your veins

and see the fires dance!
Light of the flame, memories remain,
dance cause you can and bring life through your brain.
Colourful the life goes on,
Brigid we give thanks,

heaviness and fear are gone,
just let us sing again.
Light of the flame, memories remain,
dance cause you can and bring life through your brain.

Samhain 2005

The wheel has turned again this year
And now we face the winter fear
Of darkened days and lengthened nights
And sudden shadows that give us frights

From highest hill to lowest vale
We look to winter and can not fail
We turn to face what we most dread
Those darkened monsters of the head

And when we face our inner dead
We cleanse those monsters from our head
The wheel has turned we face the dark
Behold the center, the winters spark.

Martin Dier

Ancient Sleepers

We are the Ancients, playing with the clay
We are the Ancients, creating this new way
We are the Ancients, puzzle as we may
We are the Ancients, born another day

Not doing what we did, but still seeking what we sought
Recreating our new world with peace and love and thought
Caring for our fire an essence that can't be bought
We are the Ancients, the ones that we have wrought

We are the Sleepers, waking up today
We are the Sleepers, finding the older way
We are the Sleepers, the ancient record keepers
We are the Sleepers, the sainted mystery teachers

A prayer for Tara

Gurbh míle maith agat Tara agus céad mile Buíochas duit.

May the rain fall softly on your fields and the sun shine warmly on your stones. May you always have a friend at your back. May you have wise and articulate council to carry your voice. May you have a community that love, support and value you. May you go forward with a sense of hope and enthusiasm. May your essence live here as long as you wish. May the aurora light your starry filled night skies. May you always be alluringly beautiful. May all peoples find succour from your rounded breasts. May you continue to nourish the world and may the world be nourished by you.

Tara go deo.

There is a place for memories, but there is also a place in the here and now - Samhain 2019.

Marta shares the Wunjo rune and these words for Samhain. Wunjo interpretation is allowing and choosing joy. When remembering something, or someone, we feel the urge to recreate that moment, that time. Sometimes we can, in a way, often we can’t. Be that because it's a childhood thing we were doing, be that it's something simply not done anymore, be that persons who were involved and thus created the experience together with us are no more…

The realization of our inability to re-create the joys of the past can hurt. And in the case of remembering those who traveled across the rainbow bridge, the realization hurts incredibly much. We can get ourselves lost in it, desperate because what once was, we cannot have again. This absence is desperately painful. I think the goal is to push ourselves to create new joyful memories. In order to be able to truly enjoy the past and think back with a smile. But also to be able to live, to truly live again and enjoy life to its fullest.

Wouldn’t that be what our ancestors want us to do?

There may always be a little sadness about what once has been and cannot be anymore. But we ourselves have the power to make something new or in some cases simply to make the best possible out of the situation. Which is work at times, hard work even. And sometimes something great and lovely is the result, sometimes it's just moving onwards and that's it.

I myself have the power to do something about my own joy – and I should do the best I can. This is what accepting and choosing joy are to me now. I could be sad and dwell on memories only and go down that road, making myself sick and miserable. Or I can push myself to find new ways and new things to enjoy. There is a place for memories, but there is also a place in the here and now. Both are important.

With Wunjo, I choose joy.

I don’t wait for joy to come to me.
I will seek it myself and I will choose it and make it my own.
Hail to my beloved ancestors for having walked with me in the past!
Hail to my beloved ancestors for walking with me in the present!
And Hail to US, for walking in joy in the future!

The Seven Kingdoms

We are each on a life-long journey through the folklore, mythology, history, traditions, people and poetry of our lands. We learn, breathe, eat, drink and experience throughout our lives, consciously and sub-consciously, the influences of our ancestors, our fellow humans and all beings who inhabit these realms with us.

Standing at the Labyrinth centre, enjoying our internal journey, we are also standing at the centre of an external landscape. In unison we connect our energies with local and world energies in an eternal flow.

Similarly, standing at the summit of any hill or mountain, we have a 360 degree view of the landscape, to the horizon and beyond. Mentioned below, Snaefell is one of those places, the highest peak on the Isle of Man.

The following invokes the ancient and on-going energies of the Western Isles and is based on the verse The Seven Kingdoms © Bernadette Weyde

“Have you ever seen seven kingdoms all in one day?”

“Seven kingdoms?” says you, “Aw - get away!” “It’s true as I’m breathing, not a lie do I tell, now let’s take ourselves up to the top of Snaefell.”

It must be clear like, and no clouds and no rain, when the sun’s gaily dancing o’er mountain and plain; And Manannan’s away riding Enbarr his horse, and the hillsides are clothed in the galloping gorse.

(Now see here, pay attention, and let me show otherwise you’ll never know…)

The Kingdom of Erin lies there to the west, where the ancient and Shining Ones, ever are blessed. ‘Tis a land of sweet music, of bards and of song, air is their gift and in sound all are one.

And there, to the south and then to the east, are the Red Dragon people – oh that glorious beast! Long are their valleys and deep are their veins, fire is their gift that sets all hearts ablaze.

The Kingdom of Alba lies high north of here, lochs are its guardians, its bens are held dear. Blue were the faces their men craft in wars, water’s their gift and all honour its course.

Now out to the east where the Angles reside, where cliffs are as clean as a white hart’s hide; Where Arthur did reign and yet will reign again, earth is their gift to the family of men.

Look up! Look up! to the wonders on high. Where stars grace the darkness and souls learn to fly. The bringer of seasons, of sun, ice and storm, these are the gifts of the Heavenly Kingdom.

And far down below where the waves kiss the shore,lays the bringer of memory, psyche and lore;
Of fishes, adventures and journeys in dreams,these are the gifts of the Kingdom of Seas.

And where are we standing? Why on top of the world! so close to the heavens where the clouds dance and twirl! Spirit is our gift and in this all are kin, so bow low to the honour that is Ellan Vannin's.

Before you the Seven! The Primal! The Old!

Land, sky and sea; forever betrothed. Mystical, magical, bound as a clan, and at the heart of them all is the Kingdom of Man.”