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Creating a space for the creative use of life as a tool for learning.

About me…

Today it was time… I decided to update my profile. If you have patience, bear with me…I like talking…but I didn’t realise I had so much to say!…

Hi… failte (Irish for welcome! and pronounced fall-thhha).

I’m a relative newbie to blogging, being here just over a year, but what an insightful year it has been!

I’ve turned the corner to 50 recently and two things become more relevant…time and experiences!

Material possessions are less important! Using time wisely and truly experiencing each day holds a new significance for me!

The challenges I’ve experienced in my short life have shaped me into who I am today. But to take on new experiences and challenges I have to balance my health; as I have fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, with my desire to achieve as much as I can!

Some days I feel normal, like yesterday, a day where I’m temped to do more, like preparing lots of cooking apples to make 4 apple crumbles and 3 apple tarts and shared them around my family. But by evening I was done for… only now I don’t beat myself up anymore, instead I accept that it’s ok!

However, today might be the very opposite, feeling drained with an unshakeable tiredness or worse still brain fog that wrecks any hope of sustained concentration… Trouble is it is unpredictable, so planning anything is next to impossible!!

But if you wish to read on…, a little of the back story…

I’m blessed to be married to a kind and loving man for 28 years. Now, don’t be fooled! We have had good and bad days but we are still here!… and we have two children now almost 19 and 21.

I worked as a legal secretary for 23 years but in December 2007, approaching 40, I was searching for something more. (Obviously the decades are problematic for me, 40 a mini mid-life crisis and now 50 a paring down of possessions and a search for connections and experiences).

So back to 40, whilst holding down my then part-time legal secretarial work for another 4 years and working in adult education, I decided to train as a voluntary adult literacy tutor, with the hope of helping adults improve their literacy skills and have a second, and better experience of learning!

However, little did I think that wanting to help others improve their lives would see my own life improve beyond measure also!

You see for years I found it difficult to know what to do as I watched our two children suffer at the hands of bullies. Finding the right support was next to impossible and stress and fibromyalgia are not good friends but that struggle only began to change when I returned to education myself! By becoming a student I slowly gained valuable knowledge, I grew in confidence and self-esteme and built my stamina step by step!

After six years of part-time study, part-time work, juggling family commitments and constant exhaustion, I was thrilled when, in 2014 aged 47 to have experienced college for the first time in my life and felt proud of my achievements! I obtained a Higher Certificate in Literacy Development and a B.A. in Adult Education. I have worked with adults in a learning environment almost everyday since January 2008 and I love my work as an adult educator, particularly when adults trust me enough to let down their defences and ‘let me in’, so I can help them by getting to know what makes them ‘tic’ and ‘lights their fire!’.

As an added bonus along the way I’ve realised that I also have a love of writing and that writing is cathartic (providing psychological relief through written expression of built up emotions), both for my students and myself. This blog enables me to pursue that new-found interest and I’ve really enjoying reading your blogs, sharing comments and gaining new perspectives. I also like to share any little ‘gems’ of learning I’ve gathered along the way!

But best of all drawing on my learning with Waterford Institute of Technology and The Adlerian Network of Ireland including the work of Alfred Adler and the crucial ‘C’s’…and of course the amazing Carl Rogers and his belief in the power of unconditional love, empathy (walking in someone else’s shoes) and congruance (being yourself)…

I realise…just like I have found in my classrooms… that…

I am ‘CONNECTING’ with so many warm, fun loving and supportive people!

I realise I ‘COUNT’, I am valued and that my thoughts and opinions matter.

I am feeling ‘CAPABLE’ realising that I can achieve and make progress whether I am ill or not.

And finally thanks to all your kind and encouraging comments I have the ‘COURAGE’ to try out something new, to face the challenges, to make mistakes and fall down, to shrug it off and knowing I won’t be harshly judged I can simply start again!

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Thanks for helping me realise again, like in my classrooms that it is all possible…and that together we write a truly better story!

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Much love,
Marie x

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“Wouldn’t it be good?”

It’s a heady thing…isn’t it? Young love, first crush, wanting to be special in somebody’s eyes. Walking hand in hand, grasping the opportunity to spend a few hours in each other’s company!

We walked around town on a Sunday listening to Vincent Hanly on MTVUSA and one of the songs I remember was “Wouldn’t it be good” by Nik Kershaw.

And so it was 34 years ago when I started dating Anthony. I was 16, he was 18 almost 19…a big age gap in my parents’ eyes. Little did they or indeed we think it would last but 6 years later at 22 and 24 we were married!

Now the funny thing is we are celebrating our anniversary today, Saturday the 30th of September. It’s not a milestone anniversary but it’s equally important! It feels like a dozen years but it’s actually 28!

Little did I think the title to Nik Kershaw’s song ‘Wouldn’t it be good’ would be so apt. Life has thrown some ups and downs our way but it has been good and it will continue to be good because we want it to be good!

And next Sunday we are off to Waterford to see Nik Kershaw in The Theatre Royal and to sing along and we are adamant that “We won’t let the sun go down on me (us!).

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Nana was witty!

via Daily Prompt: Witty

She was 84 when she went back to the great comedy show in the sky. I have a photo that I treasure of her holding my baby daughter Emma on her lap, playing “this little piggy went to the market” on her 6 month old bare toes. This was just a few weeks before she died. I can’t help but smile everytime I think of her because she was a wonderful role model! She was always game for a laugh, spirited, lively, fun loving and witty!! Thanks for giving me a love of good humour and positivity! I love you Nana! X
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PLANET….PLAN IT

via Daily Prompt: Planet

I live in Ireland, rural Ireland where if I walk for an hour in either direction from my home I’d be passed by a couple of cars per minute but I’d be lucky to pass two people at the most! I’m lucky to have lots of open space around me and green countryside. However, on Saturday I travelled to Dublin, the capital city of Ireland for a concert in the 3 Arena.

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I was one of 13,000 people…I felt like I was on a different planet!

Carrick, Chairs & Culture Night

Friday night last the 22nd of September was Culture Night all over Ireland. On Culture Night people have access to free events countrywide. I was invited to Carrick-on-Suir Library to an event that would showcase the work of the “If these chairs could talk” project. We were to read our poem or short story to a small gathering. In total 9 writers shared their work and it turned out to be a really enjoyable event!

But let me give you the background…This project started back in May when I agreed to take part in my first ever writing project creating a poem for the “If these chairs could talk” project for the Clancy Brothers Festival in Carrick-on-Suir, Co.Tipperary. Check out the website here

http://mobile.dudamobile.com/site/clancybrothersfestivalcos?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.clancybrothersfestival.org%2F&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ie%2F#2855

The project brought together the work of local artists who decorated a kitchen chair in a theme of their choice but based on something local or relevant to Carrick-on-Suir. Without meeting or talking to the artist, writers were asked to create a poem or short story based on what the chair was trying to say to them.

Check out all the wonderful chair stories here

http://mobile.dudamobile.com/site/clancybrothersfestivalcos?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.clancybrothersfestival.org%2F&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ie%2F#2716

My chair is chair “K” (there are little tabs on the left and right of the pictures/posters to help you move through them).

The chair depicts St.Nicholas Church in Carrick-on- Suir. It is a beautiful creation by the talented K.Walsh (Kathleen Farrell), check out Kathleen here
/ClancyBrothersMusicAndArtsFestival/photos/a.421835001233568.101283.417639988319736/1030384963711899/?type=3

and she based her work on the well known and beautiful poem by Michael Coady,
Check him out here
http://www.gallerypress.com/authors/a-to-f/michael-coady/

So I had to consider Kathleen’s beautiful chair creation, the renound Michael Coady’s poem and what the chair was trying to speak to me! What a challenge…but many drafts later the following revealed itself to me…I hope you like it! (The lines in ” ” are lines from Michael Coady’s poem, which I wanted to weave through my work for effect).

Churches, Chairs & Coady: A chair’s perspective.

by Marie Clancy

“Two for a woman, three for a man”
I hear K say aloud, reciting Coady’s poetic prayer.
Her loving hands on my skin as she adorns me, offering me new life
whilst outside, the sound of
St.Nicholas’ “bell tolls for each human death” ringing out over the town
announcing yet another soul parting.

But who will stop and sit one hour with me?
I see the prayerful dropping away from their common prayer.
Families once united in their Catholic faith,
now prayer-less, Priest-less, soul stricken and broken.
Catholicism groaning under the weight of its materialistic possessions
“raised on sweated pennies of the poor”.
The pounding pulpits pounding no more,
cool comfort for the ordinary man
from the messengers of God.

Only in a utopia, I hear them say, could we hope to be
united in religious beliefs,
holding fast to a faith that binds us as one,
and through the one God.

But come and sit one hour with me,
taking time to dream of change
“and people in pubs and shops standing on the street or leaning on
the bridge” accepting different beliefs,
leaving each man to his own faith.

Each day we write our own story;
Catholic, Atheist, Muslim or Kardashian
knowing “Each of us moves on a gossamer thread
mortally tethered to its patient web”.

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What do you think? I’d love to hear your views! Have you ever taken part in a writing project? What have you learned from it?

Getting past the irrelevant!

via Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

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Getting past the irrelevant, the multitude of things that society and the media tell us are important, is probably the biggest step you can take towards inner peace!

I wish you a greater awareness of what’s really relevant in your life and what truly makes you happy!

Ennio Morricone at The 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland tonight helps me realise what’s really relevant and what’s become totally irrelevant!

That Friday Feeling!

This week was a bit of a challenge but it is Thursday night and that means that Friday feeling is just around the corner…

…and this is how I visualise my weekend!

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Doesn’t my friend, Siobhan’s cat, Bella make that Friday Feeling look so inviting!

From Blue to Shimmer!

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Taken on Monday 18th of September, 2017, Wexford, Ireland.

There’s nothing like a good photo to lift your mood from blue to shimmer!

Sting

via Daily Prompt: Sting

Sting… the lead singer of The Police, one of my favourite bands of the 80’s immediately brings me back to second year in Secondary School (1982), faithfully watching Top of The Pops on T.V., and listening to Larry Gogan, D.J., hosting the charts every Sunday on RTE Radio 2. That awful teenage stage, bored and isolated in rural Ireland. Too old for younger siblings, too young to be left galavant to the nearest town!

Well it was that or

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”
what a great quote to live by, but you are lucky that my knowledge of Muhammad Ali and the boxing world is limited!

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