Listening to voices

I am on the move and missing those walks on the lane. From life on the road, the midlands of Ireland open like a golden tablecloth waiting to be laid for Spring. Crumpled, layered, deep.

The dark trees are silhouettes now, solid and strong. They open conversations with the sky and the land. Then they turn to me saying "Stand your ground and don't be afraid to be alone. Grow old with grace and dignity. Be as big or as small as you are."

The sky joins in, "Spread out" it says, "don't hide, there is enough space for each one."

And the land too speaks saying, "Be what you are, a tree is a tree, a flower is a flower........ a mouse is a mouse."

Then I confide, once the adults called me Mouse and I hid under the furniture reading books and listening to them talk.

"But look at you now Mouse" say the trees, the sky and the land, "driving around the country listening to voices, turning up late to important meetings from wandering the land, staring into space and thinking like a free soul........"


Inside looking out and outside looking in

Images can be a combination of reality and reflection. In this case the inside and the outside of my house, through a window.

The window glass interacts with the main protagonists; me, the lens and mother nature. And light, the secret ingredient, does it's own thing.....

Mysterious moments like this come and go, recorded and observed from all kinds of angles. Instagramed, blogged and tweeted.

But when you are there in that moment, the evening sky enfolds the land.  Even small birds sit and stare in wonder, and you just have to succumb.  Light becomes the only reality, reflected or otherwise.........and then suddenly it is gone again......


Frosty morning on the lane

There's a tranquility over the land when the morning is icy. You can hear it before you even leave the hammock. Everything is slower to stir. Except me for once, as these are the days I love!

The little lake is like a cauldron of steaming broth at the centre of the valley. The swans seek out the first rays of light and move with it. The mist rises and clears to the east, burnt off by the weak winter sun.

A distant tractor starts up with a bit of coughing and spluttering. The Robin is first on the scene and little by little come the songs of the rest. Blackbirds begin their swooping, the Heron flies in low against the land.

But in that first breath of the day, there is a beautiful empty silence. If you were here, and you heard it I think you would wish, like me, that time would linger for a little longer before we all have to go on into the rest of the day.


An encounter with a dragon

I crashed into the week with news of an unexpected piece of work which was urgently required but at the very same time an old slain dragon (one I thought had long been put to bed) suddenly erupted into fiery form and whacked me over the head with it's tail!!!

In no time there I was in the eye of yet another storm, face to face with the protagonist. I talked to myself.......... stay calm, listen, hold the line, you know what's right here..........I then wedged myself between the dragon and the mouth of the cave...........he breathed heavily..........

I noticed there wasn't too much flame..........I saw a way through.

"I'm on my own here now but there are dozens more like me coming" I roared "they are on their way now, you'd better believe me!" This was the closest I have ever come to making any kind of threat.

I saw a moment where he looked tired, his life flashed before him, he was listening........he stumbled.......he began to consider an easier option.......I have seen this look before. It happens just before an agreement is clinched, before a compromise is reached, before a dragon backs down.........

But there is always one more sting in the tail and I waited and waited, while the dragon thrashed around in the cave.......then it came at last, a final snarl. I turned my head towards the light. In the distance I saw the sun coming up at the edge of the forest.........it's sunbeams highlighted my way through.............the bellowing would stop very soon if I could hold out......

Then it happened, he faltered, slouched and there was a huge rumble as he collapsed on the cave floor spent and old. Dust rose, cleared and then silence.

For now it was time to return home, job done.

This was no triumph. There would be no celebration. As I set out on the journey back my feet would barely lift from the ground. I could only smell the heat of the battle. My head hurt.

In the forest, the light grew and the green wood filled me with damp mossy thoughts. The beauty of the world. The goodness of people, the sweet smiles of my loved ones. And that soft light and squishy path lifted my spirits just enough to remember that I would never fully harden to the world in spite of it's darkness. And anyway, here I was on my way home.


The light of new possibilities.....

The word for 2013 is light.

It opens my heart to the light in photography which I am learning is the very essence of it; to the lightness of footprint on the planet which I hold dear; and to the light of new possibilities.

From Monday morning work gets back to normal and the day job continues to throw up even more challenges than usual. At times like this the word work just feels too hard.....

So after some thought, I've decided to re-name my work, "creating possibilities."

Why? Because like so many people, I work all the time now. It is not something separate any more. Creating possibilities is a full on, full time, waking, sleeping, eating, drinking way of life. Freud said that the two most important things in life are love and work, or in my case love and creating possibilities. And now I know, maybe for the first time, that this is true for me.

Creating possibilities is what I do. Listening, learning, creating, holding and moving forward......every day.

So for 2013, light is my guide and creating possibilities is my world. Armed with the courage of January optimism I am in "bring it on" mode........ for now at least!!



The sun shone on Christmas Day and beamed long rays of golden light into the house. The slow unfolding of the meal, the unwrapping of gifts, the popping of corks seemed more relaxed and cheery this year. At it's heart these 12 days are a hibernation away from the world, some solace in the darkest part of winter.

The voices that surrounded me were clear and true. Almost upbeat. A sense of turning the corner.

During the dark hours of the last week I stole time and tried to reflect on the transition to the New Year, 2013. Last year I dipped my toe into so many new things. My word for 2012 was EXPAND. Normally fairly cautious, somehow through selecting this word, I gave myself permission to dabble and dream a bit more than usual....

My word for 2013 is LIGHT and I notice already a clearer focus on what is important and what is not in my struggle to survive economically and spiritually. For that will be the challenge for most Irish people as we try to stay afloat while at the same follow our own individual stars...

When I am living with close family and friends it becomes impossible to write or take photographs. I am torn between the practice and the laughs! So although I will miss their presence and colour, I am also looking forward to that little bit of magic, just me, the camera and the light.

Returning to the sound of my own beating heart. The mystery of being here at all. The beauty of the ordinary.

Did you chose a word, set an intention, make a resolution, would love to hear about it, and if you have blogged about it please share a link?

Also posted here on Vision and Verb a global collaboration of creative women