Author: Dara

Inclined to go a bit too deep, but life can't always be kittens in coffee cups. My face is kept on by the screw in my chin. It doesn't hurt. This blog is where I do most of my unscrewing. I think that's the best way to look inside.

Stemware, or Advice to Clumsy Parents

Stemware, or Advice to Clumsy Parents It doesn’t take much. Just a failure of your fingers to remember to hold on a little tighter, to grip the glass with just a little more care. Are you tipsy, or lacking strength? It wasn’t what you meant but still it falls from your hand, its contents trailing cataract-like through the freeze-framed air.…

Breasting the Tape

A poem I wrote about my father, who recently turned 79 and has been showing the signs of a mind and body slowing down and no longer being cognisant of the happenings of everyday life in real time. Not all the time, but enough to be of justifiable concern. It is old age. It is diminished brain function. It is…

Pod Poems!

So, as I continue my gloves-are-off approach to all things social media, I have started to write very quickly composed poems – using the lovely Miraquill app – inspired by specific episodes of the podcast. I present the first three here with the relevant episode beneath.

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 12

Why De Niro is a Gangster, not a Lover or The Case for Greatness In this episode, I look at the unwitting victims of a biblical exorcism before cruising through Michael Cimino’s 1978 masterpiece, The Deer Hunter, with particular focus on Robert De Niro’s performance in it. A case for greatness is made and De Niro is pitted against Lionel…

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 11

The Me, the Here, the Now In this episode I try to unpick the puzzle of presence. I draw a line between perceived safety and protecting the precious parts of ourselves. I argue for integrity and wholeness as the pathways to self-acceptance and the tools for calm and confident presence. I also share a very personal story to illustrate the…

Spinning in Infinity

Control. The ultimate illusion. And yet one to which we are all addicted, or at the very least, conditioned. It is the great self-deception of which most of us are guilty. It is a mind game. We are merely toddlers who have learned how to walk straighter and grip tighter. None of this should sound unduly negative or cynical. It…

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 10

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! This episode is all about stars! I discuss at length the many versions of A Star Is Born and their relative strengths and weaknesses, as well as their gender politics. I also use those movies to look at trauma and the dire male response to trauma and addiction by one of the central characters…

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 9

Getting Comfortable with Chickens and Ignorance Episode 9 of the podcast has a look at what we know and what we understand, and asks if we can reduce our anxiety by getting more comfortable with what we don’t know and what we can’t control. Pets with confusing names feature early on. There is also a trip to the river, a…

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 8

Drawing the Line at Madness Episode 8 of the podcast has me taking a good look at madness and placing it in a context of conflict and self-defence. My knowledge of karate and the systematised code of conduct in that world informs the discussion. I find counsel from one of the great fictional madmen – The Joker, and the words…