Wednesday 20th January, 2016. As I go through the glass doors, I’m ok. I walk towards the discreet office, protected by glass. I ring the bell. A lady comes out and asks “yes? how can I help you?” I show her the CIVIL BILL FOR POSSESSION, and ask “which court room am I supposed to be in, please?” She tells me Court Room One and with a kindness in her voice, gives me directions. My heart beat raises and now I can feel the tears welling up. Although this story started seven years ago, it never had an ending.
The first time I sat in the audience, in the Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 1, (Ireland), a place steeped in history, I had a weird thought (ok, so I have a lot of weird thoughts). But, this one took me by surprise. I thought, if I had lived on mainland Europe during WWII, I would have been an active member of La Résistance. What I learnt about myself, on that little thought train was, that one day, I would come to my voice.
EXCERPT from The Insurrection in Dublin by James Stephens
January 08, 2016
This year, 2016, is a special year for Ireland. A year she commemorates, one hundred years since the Easter Rising. On the 24th April, 1916, POBLACHT NA hÉIREANN, was read at the GPO (General Post Office), O’Connell Street, Dublin.
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom…
Sunday morning, 13th December, I filled the bird table with a selection of peanuts and seeds and hung a fat ball on the side. Then, I stood inside the kitchen window and waited. Like an apparition, there he was, in all his glory. A Bullfinch. I thought, for a split second, I was going to levitate with excitement. I had not seen one in nearly two years. He had no interest in my offerings, just the bush of red berries he was perched on. Being in nature, the mountains, beachscapes or landscapes, observing her inhabitants, gifts me with something nothing else does, an expanding sense of mental and emotional freedom.
Two specific incidents, years apart, turned me away from the idea of feminism. But, to be authentic, it is important that I say, my mind-set was already weighted. These incidents served, for what I believed at the time, as a confirmation of what I thought I knew about women. The first happened in a supermarket, when my daughter was just over two and half years old. We were standing in a queue at the check-out desk. My daughter tugged at my coat and pointed to a little boy, no older than she was, just behind us
Whether you are a tree hugger or you are not, it is difficult to muster up any level of professional respect, for a woman adorned with the title Senior Manager, who doesn’t engage in team, refuses to be involved in the performance review process, but has little difficulty asking questions like “could someone at your level afford to get their hair done every week?”. Someone who sporadically declares that the job you do is “mind numbingly boring”.
In 1984, Esta Soler was lobbying for a bill outlawing domestic violence in the United States (in European speak, lobbying for the criminalisation of). One congressman, nicknamed it the ‘take the fun out of marriage’ bill. Thirty years later, in Ireland, a big effendi (Arabic equivalent to sir), stood on a podium alongside his right hand man, a ‘people strategist’.