Suicide cycle

13-reasons-why-5-stills-released-see-here

A lot about suicide going on this week.  Both Esha and Gavin are in the Cycle Against Suicide tomorrow from Rockwell College Cashel to Ursuline College Thurles.  So they are cycling from Gavin’s school to Esha’s.

In work people are registering for the “Darkness into Light” walk raising funds for Pieta House, which has a huge role in addressing self esteem issues in young people.

The  big hit TV series is “13 Reasons Why” the Netflix show which follows the set of cassette tapes recorded by a teenage girl before she commits suicide.  Teenagers are eating it up.  I watched it myself and really enjoyed it.  But.  Sorry…BUT (it’s a big but).

As one commentator pointed out tonight on the radio, they are young,  they are downright hot, they are so cool, they are all good looking, well dressed, highly alluring. The production is glossy, the music is fantastic, there is a teenager driving a Ford Mustang for goodness sake.  They are the teenagers that teenagers want to be.  They are the fashion queens, the sports jocks, the cheerleaders, the smart kids, the ones who matter.  When the teenagers your teens want to be are killing themselves in a form of revenge ritual you need to be concerned.  Maybe the reports are anecdotal, maybe not, but all suicide and self-harm agencies are reporting a rise in incidents.

So to my newest favourite poet, who has just released a new poem.  Not about suicide, but about the very opposite.  I just love this sentiment.  It reflects what I believe about social media.  When you are having fun, put the phone away.  Live in the moment.  It doesn’t last long.  Celebrate the NOW.

 

Blink and You’ll Miss It: by Esha Hourihane Clancy

Unlike a million other things, happiness is a choice.
A choice we all have and one we all make,
make for ourselves but for others we fake.
Fake a smile, fake a laugh,
whose to know, or much less care?
When you smile the world smiles back.
It can’t see past the façade we wear.

I cannot be bought by the wealthy nor donated to the poor.
Who am I? What am I for?
Why do plays and poems celebrate the aching and breaking of hearts?
The rolling of heads and the rolling of tears precede and interrupt the happier parts.
I guess poets and playwrights know all too well
that it is best to write when you are drowning in hell.
It’s easier.
What a sin it would be to pick up a pen while laughing.
To interrupt joy in such gross kind, you would certainly scare it away.
A deer in the woods isn’t so hard to catch.

Document the sad times, the sloths and the snails.
Fill oceans with tears and draw great blue whales.
Sing sad songs ’til the cows come home
but don’t ever try to write a happy poem.
Lions and tigers are too fast for your flash.
Reach for your pen and off they’ll dash.
Don’t worry about forgetting it
because it’s going to get forgotten.
Just enjoy it now, before it’s gone.

Look!

 

Cycle

Bucket List #4

WP_20170401_10_48_22_Pro[1].jpg

These are the collection buckets we used to raise money for the Hope Foundation.  Gavin, Jerry, Esha and I have variously waved these buckets at the very many generous people of Cashel, Thurles and various Tipperary townlands.  We brought them to Rugby matches in Dublin and Limerick, and to Hurling games in Semple Stadium.  They have seen the warm days of summer and the cold dark days of winter.

They have earned a proud position in my “Bucket List” as they contain many great memories of a good year.

Four years ago my oldest son Jerry participated in the trip to Kolkata with Rockwell College.  He documented his journey on his blog:

https://jerrytocalcutta.wordpress.com/about/

This year it was all about my younger son, Gavin, who made his own trip, which he recorded on wordpress, twitter, snapchat, etc.  His fundraising exploits are on his  wordpress site:

https://gavinclancykolkata.wordpress.com/

PLEASE DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY.  They have finished their trips and made their visits to Kolkata.  But if you would like to support the fabulous work of the Hope Foundation feel free to do so at their site:

http://www.hopefoundation.ie/

What I like about the Hope Foundation is that it is a charity that strives to make itself useless.  What do I mean by that?

Some charities operate in a way that perpetuates dependency.  Their business is to “help” disadvantaged people.  But if they are “too successful” there will be no poor people left to help and they will effectively be out of business.  Self-perpetuating charities are not things I like, or appreciate.

I am very much of the mind to take people out of dependency.  This is where Hope operate.  They focus on educating kids to escape the cycle of slum living.  They help the parents to escape the cycle by supporting small enterprises, and by freeing up the parents to work by caring for the kids in crèches.  The greatest day for Hope Foundation will be when they can happily close down their facilities in Kolkata because their job is done.

That is not a pipedream.  It can happen.

As my son Jerry reminds me frequently “Give a man a Hamburger and he eats for a day.  Teach him to Hamburger, and that metaphor only works for Fish”.

The Fish:  by William Butler Yeats

Although you hide in the ebb and flow
Of the pale tide when the moon has set,
The people of coming days will know
About the casting out of my net,
And how you have leaped times out of mind
Over the little silver cords,
And think that you were hard and unkind,
And blame you with many bitter words.

Fish

 

 

 

Sharpen the saw

Charlemont

Every now and then I need to remember what I am doing on this blog.  Refocus on the original purpose to remind myself what I am doing.  This blog is the journey of my mind.  MY MIND.  It is a selfish journey because it is all about me.  I am the Master of this Ship, I am Captain and Mate, Coxswain and Boatswain, AB, OS, Steward and Galley Boy.

You are here as my guests.  Nothing more than supercargo.  Sit back, relax, enjoy the view, complain if you wish.

This blog is not a quest for followers.  If you enjoy what I do that’s nice but changes nothing.  If you hate my blog I don’t care a whit.  If you thrive by expressing your hate of blogs you will gain no satisfaction here.

I have sailed this ship for almost three years.  I can go back in time and read the log and re-engage with the me of that time.  That is a very productive process on a personal and spiritual level.  I enjoy those meetings with myself.  My only regret is that I did not begin this process earlier.

My blog is an emotional snapshot.  I do my best to capture my emotional state at the time of writing the blog.  This is the primary purpose of the poems, and sometimes of the images.  For me it works.  Returning to past posts I don’t just remember the emotions, I feel them.

This week was my last in the Charlemont Place offices of Hostelworld.  The office is now closed and when I return next week it will be to Leopardstown.  For the coming week I will work remotely from home.

Yesterday Gavin returned to secondary school, kicking off third year in Rockwell.  He got the usual round of teachers speeches.  You know the ones.  “Summer is over – This is when it gets serious – Sorting the men from the boys – Time to grow up and take responsibility – yadda, yadda, yadda“.  We had a good laugh about it in the car on the way home.

Thursday I brought Jerry to UCC to check into his student dorm.  My office move pales in comparison to that journey.  It reminds me of a scene from the movie “The Sundowners”.  Sean is the son of the protagonists played by Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr.  He is becoming a man and decides to leave the family wagon and sleep with the men in the bunkhouse of the sheep station.  Peter Ustinov, who plays the part of mentor and sage, notes that it is the greatest journey the young man will ever make.

Sean:  This is the first time I was ever away from home.

Station Hand:  With your mom and dad not 50 yards outside that window. You call that being away from home?

Venneker (Ustinov):  Being out in the world’s a state of mind, not of geography.  Distance between that tent
and this bunkhouse……is the longest journey you’ll ever make in your life.

Thursday also saw Louise head to Dublin for research training.  It is her first real foray back into the workplace since the birth of Gavin.  The highways of possibilities emerging from this step are broad and exciting.

Finally Esha will return to UCT next week and begin fifth year.  She is now on the final push to the leaving cert having completed a truly excellent transition year.

The final week of August 2015 is a ripened gourd, turgid with possibilities, tumescent and feracious.

There is no frigate like a book; by Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

Book Frigate