Category: Advice for the Young and Impressionable

Open

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. Pablo Neruda It’s Halloween! Feeling spooky? Feeling scared? Looking over your shoulder? Cowering in the dark? Dressing up or dressing down? We have always celebrated Halloween here in Ireland and I have liked the associated festivities ever since I was a…

Taking Care

Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise (Daniel 12:1) In a crisis, I look to myself. It is rarely my first instinct to seek help or counsel elsewhere. I partly do this because I have a certain amount of faith in my own resources, and I partly do it because I possibly have less faith in…

I Can Dance, But I Don’t Want To

Shuffle. Shimmy. Shake. The external is merely a dance. It’s the dance we do to get off the dance floor. You know the one – you have to get to a point on the other side of the room, but the dance floor full of maniacally enthused glitterbugs is unavoidably en route, and because you live in the real world…

Black Belt

Just over seventeen years ago, I did my first black belt grading and I recently stumbled across an essay that my sensei at the time requested as part of the examination process. Although it in many ways resembles something you’d be asked to write by your English teacher towards the end of secondary school, especially with regard to the title,…

Renewable

Each day must be begun anew. Sleep is the restorative. Waking is the opportunity. To open your eyes and be able to say “still here, still alive” surely has the potential to infuse you with renewed vigour and appetite for life. Somehow, no matter how paltry your contribution to humanity, no matter how insignificant your squawks and wirbles, you’ve been…

The Pinnacle

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties. In form and moving, how express and admirable. In action how like an angel. In apprehension how like a god. The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No,…

Liver complaint

I wanted to write about Prometheus, but I couldn’t find the right peg to hang him on, so I just ended up feeling pretentious, as if I was secretly aspiring to be outed in Pseuds Corner. I was going to propose that we are all somehow in defiance of the gods, that the wars that rage within us are analogous…

Not you again!

“This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same…

A little, not a lot

The change of seasons is upon us. The gasfire-warmed mornings of a couple of weeks ago have given way to more temperate conditions. Indoors, for my early-morning writing routine, I am no longer wearing a scarf or chunky neck-warmer, nor am I double-socking. (Yes, Melbourne homes really are that cold in winter and I have much anecdotal evidence to support…

Simple

Sometimes the simplest thing to do is to just start speaking and trust you will find a way to say what you really want to say. The ‘simplest’ thing. It’s simple if there’s nothing at stake. It’s simple if what you have to say is a bit ‘beige’, a bit meh. But if you have something of real import to…