Tag Archives: Seamus Heaney

[Throwback Thursday] Balancing life and a chronic illness

Oh, you can bet I am willing, I am usually more than willing. When physical restraints curb your potential, you realise that you want so more from your own life, and out of your own reality. Life is moving forward outside your medically induced world, and you feel annoyed when healthy people don’t realise the worth of their bodies, their unused potential.

It simply reminds you that being chronically ill sucks.

It’s energy being depleted in all the wrong places. There is no uptake to being ill. There is no room for maneuvering when you’re faced with an illness that will -quite literally- be there until you draw your last breath. Do take it from someone who’s already stared death in the face because of it; it is so not all it’s cracked up to be, honey.

To read the whole post, please go to: Balancing life and a chronic illness

©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Balancing life and a chronic illness

Life-is-a-Gift-Facebook-Timeline-Cover

Imagine this… You are chronically ill, but every time you have a physical setback, your body can heal itself without input from your GP, neurologists, hospitals…

Our mind has the power to heal heartache and/or to show strength in times of need, yet our bodies lack that magnificent paradox. The answer lies in how we look at our emotions; are they your friend, or foe? And how do you view your physical body?

After some feeble attempts trying to write a few paragraphs the past few weeks, I was sent back to the drawing board after each occasion. Not good enough. Already done this. Needs more research. Too tired. Continue reading

Kick-Ass Ireland

Sliabh Liag image

Sliabh Liag, County Donegal

Some days I sit still and think about how my life became a dream full-circle.

There’s William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Brendan Behan.

Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift, Colm Tóibín and Samuel Beckett.

Patrick Kavanagh, George Bernard Shaw and Lady Augusta.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Land of Heart’s Desire and Yeats’s grave.

Dubliners, Ulysses and Bloomsday.

The mountains, lakes, Dublin, Sligo and the Shannon.

Brú na Boinne, Corcaigh, Beara, Daingean Uí Chúis, Zú Bhaile Átha Cliath, craic agus ceol.

Brian Ború, Michael Collins, Theobald Wolfe Tone and Daniel O’Connell.

Seven hundred years of cruelty, yet still able to endure hard times.

Writers, dancers, taps, tin whistles and uilleann pipes.

Books, almighty libraries and small bookshops selling secrets.

Friendships gained, lost and renewed.

New alliances forged in foothills and strengthened on mountain tops.

“You, the Irish” becoming “Us Irish”.

Utter dedication, loyalty, heartfelt passion and amazement.

Innate decency, long chats and fickle fiddlers, the smallest dance floors filled to the brim.

Haunting voices singing songs at night, softer voices talking about Irish history near the open fire.

Family falling for that Irish dream and character, its people and its truth.

Twelve and a half years of dreaming, believing, seeing and becoming.

Twelve and a half years and counting.

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About Willeke

Neurologically challenged by MS and personally by her will to succeed, Willeke is a disability awareness advocate seeking to improve neurological/MS services in Ireland. By highlighting difficult issues that come with such a diagnosis, she hopes her tenacity can bring some dignity to people most in need of a modern, inclusive healthcare system that looks after every aspect of life.

©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ireland, still here

45500_569789193038961_937932256_nImmensely overlooked in my blog this year has been one of the three biggest champions in my life. Some friends say ‘There’s definitely a book hiding in you, so it’s time to start writing that autobiography.’ The word ‘autobiography’ fills me with trepidation though, as I immediately think of the libraries I worked in, and I see long shelves packed with autobiographies of distinguished writers or obscure rock stars.

Perhaps we secretly all want to write a book, and if we dare being vain, write our own biography, with your good self as the protagonist, Hercules-style. The name of the main character in my autobiography might perhaps surprise you.

It’s not multiple sclerosis; any illness that tries taking my identity doesn’t deserve the main role in my book.

It’s not the hospital or my pharmacy, either.

Hell, it’s not even myself.

Continue reading

12 years of poetry, books & dreams

12 years ago, on this very day, I moved to Ireland. Sometimes it still feels like a dream within a dream, of seeing, hearing and feeling new stories, of meeting wise and old, playful and young.

Thinking back, I always have William Butler Yeats in the back of my mind. He is definitely my favourite Irish poet, although it would be an injustice not mentioning the fantastic work of Seamus Heaney, James Joyce’s Ulysses and many others blessed by the Irish gift of the gab. Below are just a few of my favourite poems by Yeats, so do enjoy!

Continue reading

From The Frontier Of Writing, by Seamus Heaney

The tightness and the nilness round that space
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect
its make and number and, as one bends his face

towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent
down cradled guns that hold you under cover

and everything is pure interrogation
until a rifle motions and you move
with guarded unconcerned acceleration—

a little emptier, a little spent
as always by that quiver in the self,
subjugated, yes, and obedient.

So you drive on to the frontier of writing
where it happens again. The guns on tripods;
the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating

data about you, waiting for the squawk
of clearance; the marksman training down
out of the sun upon you like a hawk.

And suddenly you’re through, arraigned yet freed,
as if you’d passed from behind a waterfall
on the black current of a tarmac road

past armor-plated vehicles, out between
the posted soldiers flowing and receding
like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.
(Seamus Heaney, 13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013)

© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ireland, a masterpiece

The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.

(Seamus Heaney)

Lough Tay (Wicklow Mountains, County Wicklow)

Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.
(Charles Haughey) Continue reading

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