Born 26th of April 1963 in the early hours at home by the fire to a beautiful Mother. The date of my birth heightens the hungers. Released from safe waters of weightless comfort out into dry land to a warm blooded embrace. Belonging to mammals, sub group Primates. Welcome to the soul-filled hunger of what it is to be human. Belonging and yet alone too. Up to me now to breathe, to let my breath find me. To remember, love is in the air.

Repeatedly Mam was there, when I ran indoors crying having fallen or having been teased and pushed around by an older sibling. And I can't remember a time when she wasn't there with my tea after school. My God! 🧡the heart of a lion🧡to feed and clothe us through it all on so little resource. Attempts to seek support with her violent husband, to protect her children, met by the Clergy with the answer "Go home and honour your husband". And so, she made cakes for us in the midst of her own suffering. May I have the tiniest hint of your beauty and strength and resilience in my own body. Thank you Mammy, how can I ever thank you.

So today, 58 years later, as I look into the beautiful eyes and dark eyelashes in this picture when I was 6 years old, I ask for youthful and hopeful Clare's support. Tell me where have I gone off piste, where have I lost my way, when have I slept when I ought to have been awake over the years. I have a sense today of deep exhaustion and existential grief from the shoulder to the wheel existence. The grand search for love and all the avenues it took me down and all the losses and ruptures it brought.

Hazarding my heart to life = resilience. And making that step repeatedly as I hear the call of younger me to awake, to not repeat my fathers violence and walk towards warmth. Her eyes speak of sadness and exhaustion with effort, and, yes, she continues to be filled with hope and faith in me. She asks me to slow right down and listen to the tears in the well of life that hold the secret. She's sorry that that listening hurts, but she calls me on, knowing that it softens me towards her and into her, her beginning and her everlasting essence that belong on the earth for the time I have here.

Today I visited the place where my dear friend Badger's ashes were scattered to ask her to hold my aching heart and I told her we will be in each others arms again one day. The wind spoke to me through the trees with their tender holding and the crow above comforted me too.

So, let your breath find you, no more living 'beyond' yourself, your breath is waiting for you, to breathe you through the water of life through your tears, visible or invisible, doesn't matter, it's still tears from the well of your life and the well of your longing. Through full embodied honouring of your unique essence and how it hungers to become visible you'll find your footing and your signature will fill the air.

I choose to live from this full-bodied place, no distracting, no tomorrows, just the truth today, in an embodied embrace. Trusting my Captaincy of these unchartered waters.

Clare O'Sullivan


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