I give them the moon

This is a guest post I wrote for Vision and verb shortly after the very sad murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne. By coincidence Tom Meagher, Jill's widower has this month become an advocate for the Irish White Ribbon Campaign. Tom has been writing about his experiences here on the White Ribbon Blog, it is both a chilling story and a powerful piece of writing. To support their work I am reposting this today. 

It's October and the evenings are drawing in. Like thousands of other Irish parents my sons are surfing under Australian blue skies, drinking coffee in the street cafes of Berlin or taking classes in a New York film school. Spreading their wings while I follow their adventures from my perch on the hill.

Tonight the random rape and murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne, 12,000 miles from home weighs heavily on me. The fragility of life and the grief of others has stopped me in my tracks. My sorrow now is for her husband Tom, her father and mother, for the friends out there. How could any man be so isolated and cut-off from any sense of reality or care, to inflict such pain?

Most days in the grassy wetlands I head out alone with my camera to meet up with one of my best teachers and collaborators, Mother Nature. It's late now but still I pound up the hill towards the forest, muttering to myself about the world, about the fear. I don't pray but I carry all the young emigrants in my heart as I walk the land. I carry their questions and their anger.....

To the west the sun is setting and to the east the moon is rising. I am reminded of other nights when I travelled the world myself. When I slept under the stars in the Black Forest in Germany and a moon just like this one hung over it like a Max Ernst painting. When I wept with frustration at having no where to sleep in Paris until a kind Jesuit found me a room. When I travelled by subway in NY chewing gum as a strategy to look tough, the most innocent looking pale faced girl on that train. 


And here, with one foot in a rural haven and one foot in the global chaotic melting pot, with questions, confusion and anger whirring.......this moon soothes and distracts. Before long I am reaching for the camera,  besotted by the sky, engrossed in the tranquility.

As I walk home thinking about them all wherever they are tonight. I imagine them under this clear sky with the chubby clouds. And then I close my eyes and with all my heart I give them the moon............


  1. Life's unjust moments are so random and never make sense. Beautiful images from your writing as well as your photos. Such a shame to lose a young life so tragically. My thoughts go out to all involved.

  2. Spectacular shots, beautiful writing. You convey such feeling in such a short few paragraphs.

  3. Wow! Once again such beautiful images!

  4. Just beautiful in images and words...sometimes we feel angry, hopeless and helpless....but then we are given the gift of such a moon and sky to help us...I look forward to checking out Vision and verb.

  5. That is a beautiful tribute to Jill Meagher and to all the young Irish workers finding their way abroad. How kind of you to remember them.
    Your images are beautiful and they bring to perspective how we call live beneath the same sky.


  6. You've captured every mother's dreams and worries with your post. I too silence the anger and confusion of this world's craziness by drifting into the arms of Mother Nature. Your second photo of the moon is bliss, makes me want to write a story about the supernatural, about avenging spirits who set things right, or maybe I'll just dream of a better world.

  7. Your moon in the night sky here is absolutely breathaking. Gorgeous!!! And - well - you already know how your post moved me...:-)

  8. "I give them the moon..." That's so beautiful.

  9. Your pictures of the moon moved me, as did your words which struck a chord in a mother's heart.

  10. Someday Jesus will return and all of the heartache will be over. Then, I suppose, Jesus' followers might just touch the moon .

  11. How exciting to do a guest post for Vision and verb, your words and pictures blend so well together. Once a parent, always a parent however old they are you can't help worrying even when they are leading their own lives, and you feel for the parents when a tragedy like this occurs.
    Sarah x

  12. Beautiful and poignant words, and all the more so when yet another family is waiting to learn the fate of a beloved daughter.
    Parents always worry about their offspring no matter how many or now few miles they are apart.


A big thank you for all of your comments, each and every one is much appreciated. Please use the contact page if you have questions that require a response, I will always reply.