Performance Text
by Veronica Dyas

15th, 16th & 17th May 2014
Project Arts Centre
Dublin, Ireland


  1. Opening:Some one else lives in my home now/It’s hard to extricate yourself from a Life

  1. - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -

  1. REPAIRATIONS/Cruz de Ferro: AIR

  1. WALKING/End of the world/beginning: WATER

  1. THIS IS MY BODY/Meeting MySelf on Stage: EARTH
  1. MAPPING MY HERE & NOW: Stayin’ in The LOVE - LOVE

I: Opening:Some one else lives in my home now/It’s hard to extricate yourself from a Life

When I was about 3 years old
I let go of my mother’s hand on Thomas Street
We lived in Marrowbone Lane*

I let go of my Mammy’s hand.  It’s a big busy street so I know I’m not supposed to, know I’m supposed to hold her hand.  She lets me let go though, we are walking slowly, as we mostly are, she likes to walk slow, and I only have little legs so it suits me too.  I let go of my Mammy’s hand and I run over to the man in the doorway sitting three steps up leaning against the door.  He is hairy and duffled coated and smells of the street and cider that he’s half drunk.  I wrap my arms around him.  He wraps his arms around me.

Part of me doesn’t want to be here talking about this tonight
I’d rather if we didn’t need to, if we’d resolved this already
But we haven’t, that’s why I am here
All of this exists within a paradigm*

in this moment together in this room
There’s a few paradigms going on at the same time
It’s hard to step out of that, see clearly beyond it
There’s definitely a few paradoxes
Distinct Truths that seem contradictory
But they aren’t
I’ve lived in them and with them
I live with them now
Some one else lives in my home now
I’m a landlord who doesn’t believe in private ownership anymore
I am one of the 136,564 people in residential mortgage arrears*

With negative equity
in this our city, in this our land

Camino to Santiago 2011*

I walk with people trying
To find another way to live
I walk with beings of light
Meet my Grandfather, he died in 1980
you’ll need to bear with me!
There’s things I experienced I still don’t fully understand
I came back to a life that was never really mine
Letters from the bank were overwhelming
I had limited options
The options are very limited
When I walked I knew things to be true
I felt them in my body
It’s hard to hold a paradox
It’s hard to extricate yourself from a life

I have come to believe that
The Love is the answer to all the questions
and that Fear is the opposite of Love*

I’ve lived in both states absolutely
I chose to live in The LOVE now
as much as possible

I let go of my Mother’s hand and ran over
To a man drinking cider
In a doorway on Thomas Street
A strange man in a doorway*

It was natural
My natural instinct
I knew what we needed in that moment
So thats what I did
I’ve been trying to get back to that
My natural human state

Marrowbone Lane
they surrendered the keys when I was nine, my Ma & Da*

I couldn’t understand it
Walking up by Fatima to the new house
Leaving my last home
I didn’t understand
The pressure they had on them
They’re both from houses
I’m the only one from the flats
and their parents
Worked every day
My granda cycling from and to Ballyfermot
To where the point depot was
To work in a factory making cars
Stopping off at Adam & Eves to warm his hands
Take a sup of tea from a flask
Before getting back up on his bike
Because they wanted something else
My Grandmother taking in invisible mending, making baker boy hats
So they’d have something to pass on
Tenants after tenements who
Purchased their rented home off the Corporation*

So they’d have something to leave to their children
They left them more than land though
There’s no price on what they left them

My first proper job
After I came back from dropping off the edge of the world
That’s how I felt in active addiction
Like I’d dropped off the edge
I ran, fixated on staying out of my head
Really it’s about not feeling
I didn’t want to feel
I couldn’t grasp my reality
So I self medicated to change it
Things happen in that state that don’t happen sober
The shame then, the shame
Every thing becomes very small
And stays small for a long time
At 15 drunk, stoned semi-conscious
Hyper self conscious at the same time
I am everything - I am nothing
I place mySelf in a position to be harmed
I am harmed
physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally
These are the levels on which I was damaged
These are the levels on which I am learning to recover

After I came back from dropping off the edge of the world
When I started to come back
My first proper job
was in a major corporate Irish family business*

After nine months I left to
Work in the not for profit sector
the public sector*

I am in fear, but you can’t tell
I have to be in the world so I’m learning to hide it
I go to work every day, so I can afford a mortgage
I can’t afford a mortgage
Prices are rising
It’s already too late to go back to The Liberties
No longer the inner city, now it’s
‘central to town and all amenities’
Prices are rising
The first rung of the property ladder is the hardest
It’s the hardest first step
They tell me Rent is dead money - Dead money
And I don’t know then that
all money is a dead thing
There’s no life in it*

It’s the year 2000
The world is ending
Or just beginning
No one is really sure
Shared Ownership Scheme*

I bring my Mother to sign the papers
It’s a gesture of goodwill
and because I’m afraid
and I’ve no-one else to ask
I sign the papers
Shared Ownership Scheme*

I go to work every day in administration
I get promoted
So I can afford the mortgage, even half a mortgage is hard
on the two bedroom terraced house in Ballyfermot
where when I open the door I know everything
is in the same place as when I left it
The same and thats important
A little box
I collect boxes too
I make a will*

because these are the added extras
The accoutrements of home ownership
Life Assurance/Property insurance/Property Tax now
I buy a washing machine
And stand in my kitchen looking in amazement
How do I own a washing machine?
I’m 23 years old and on my own
I go to work every day in administration
I get promoted
So I can afford the mortgage, even half a mortgage is hard
I start therapy
I go to therapy every week
I’m finding my voice, I’m recovering
I’m finding my voice for years
I go to work every day in administration
So I can afford the mortgage, even half a mortgage is hard
Eventually the Social Workers re-socialise me
I go to college
Borrow money off my aunt so I can finish
I’m still trying to pay that back
Change to a full mortgage in 2008*

full mortgage and the system is crumbling
I go to work every day in administration
So I can afford the mortgage
I work in the Social Work Department
I meet him there
He’d be categorised as ‘an out of home dedicated street drinker’
That’s not who he was…

II: - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -
SFX: ‘Jesus Blood’ version - John Nee

2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
He’s standing at the hatch window
Leaning in
He’s standing at the hatch window
Leaning in and he’s laughing
We’re not sure why
He knows every song on the radio
who wrote it, what year
the number it was in the charts
and we all sing along
2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
At closing time he walks the site
and takes a seat in their waiting room
on the other side
all night
most nights
back leaning in the hatch window
we can smell him across reception
some of us don’t like that
Some of us think it’s not right
It’s definitely not right but not because he smells
He’s standing at the hatch window
He’s lost another tooth since we saw him last
But he won’t tell us how
2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
He’s leaning in the hatch window
bear chested ‘cos he’s just had a wash
it’s not ideal
this makeshift washroom in the reception
bear chested - weather worn skin
we can see the difference now
read the markings of life on his body
in indian ink
in memory of
it’s not ideal
this makeshift home
this site he’s taken as his own
it’s not the same the days he’s not in
we miss him, worry where he is
we’re not supposed to let him stay
there’s no policy for this
2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
he’s leaning in the hatch window
eating our lunch
his blue eyes
his blue eyes watching
knows every song on the radio
knows every one
his Social Worker finds him a bed
in a hostel where he can drink
its not easy
there’s only a few
and its not easy
to say its okay
its okay
he’s going to drink today
he may drink every day
but maybe he won’t lose any more teeth
2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
He’s hiding in the bathroom
he won’t come out until I get there
I only drop in to bring him smokes
He’s been hiding in the bathroom
Since I left him, all day
“I’ll walk out with you” he says
And he does
Walks an unfamiliar way
That day
That one day
He went out in the world again
2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
He’s back leaning in the hatch window
We keep asking what can we do
There’s no protocol for this
We have meetings about him
Some of us don’t think it’s alright
Some of us don’t want to turn him away
There’s a safety in this small space
The smell in reception
His blue eyes
he’s lost another tooth since we saw him last
but he’ll never tell us how
Leaning in the hatch window
2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6; 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6; 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
23rd April 1956
And we all sing along

VISUAL: Collage of Cruz de Ferro building from ‘All Love’ image
SFX: ‘Walking West’ - Madelyn Medeiros

I’m sitting in a doorway contemplating stopping
there’s only a patch where it’s not wet
One tiny dry patch
It’s raining everywhere
Whats this about
Eating a can of sardines with my fingers
Because I don’t know how to live outside yet
I don’t know how to pack food in the morning to carry all day
I don’t know how to walk yet
Even though I’ve already crossed the Pyrenees
There’s a private hostel in this village
I can stop if I want to
If I want to I can stop
Nobody made me come here
I’m only here for mySelf
I haven’t seen another pilgrim all day, only one on a bike
I can stop if I want
Lick my fingers, the juice of the sardines in tomato sauce
A drop of water in the bottom of my plastic bottle
I’m an unlikely pilgrim
I don’t even know to carry a flask
And after when I do know I don’t want to
I do it my way, walk my own way
She speaks to me more now
The camino
I know she’s a she even though it’s masculine
I sit in the doorway of another locked church and feel well
This is easy
All I have to do is walk
I get up and walk again
I continue

At San Antón I ask
“Give me back what I have lost”
I watch the pigeons
I stay still a while, I stay still and ask
“Give me back what I have lost, gracias”

The Maseta runs on and on in a straight line for miles, kilometers
I used to play that game when I was tired
if I’d 12km left to walk, I’d think ah sure it’s only about 6 miles sometimes that was a mistake though
completely flat
after climbing the Pyrenees you’d think that’d be a good thing
it’s not, it divides pilgrims, they love it or hate it, I hated it
Looking at the same thing
endless road ahead, the endless way
Singing was my only way to get through it
that’s how I made friends on the camino, singing loudly and badly

Every day I walk into the unknown  
Every day something lands with me
I start to see clearly
I Listen to the way
And it’s okay
Just for today
It’s okay
More and more it’s all okay

I walk by a wolf sitting under a tree
She watches me pass, she lets me walk by

I take one night in a hotel
It’s a luxury my Mother promised me
‘When it gets too hard I’ll pay for one night’
It gets hard
The proximity to the other humans at night
Mostly it’s the snoring, that’s my main issue
Old men snoring
I close the door of the hotel room
And relish the feel of the key in my hand
It’s one night with mySelf
Next day it’s back to mixed showers and bunk beds

We share bread and cheese on a path in the forest
We drink coffee made over a fire, talk about The Life
We sleep next to each other on the floor
We sing as we walk
walk and talk, walk in silence
Walk alone, together

I am learning that I am still an addict
I wake up every morning
Desperate for a coffee,desperate for a cigarette
Some mornings I walk in the dark just to get a coffee

I land on another way
Galicia is like that
It’s kind of pagan
They have a saying
‘Yes there are witches, but we don’t see them’
In this village a white horse runs free
in the yard the hens follow one rooster round the path
on my back the fire warms the crackles of my heart
The music of the world plays on
In this place, there is nothing
village abandonado
only this albergue, this hostel
It looks like home, over familiar
Looks like home except it’s higher
it’s the highest point on the camino
the home stretch
where I start to wonder, again
why I am here
I speak with the mountain
Meditate as I do everything
I feel I am home, cared for, protected
Just for today
Just before the summit and the cross
I sit by the fire and write
What I need to leave here
What do I need to make repairations for
not to fix, some things can never be fixed
they can heal though
Here I feel like a woman, grown, adult
I feel like this state is possible
That there is Abundance in all The Life
Enough for everyone, without waste
I leave my fear on the top of the Mountain
I walk on in Trust  
I leave the feeling of Unworthiness behind me on the Mountain
I walk on in Trust  
I leave the blockage in my throat behind me on the Mountain
I walk on in Trust  
I make Repairations for all of them on the top of the Mountain
I walk on in Trust  

I walk more and more alone
Solo pilgrim
Say goodbye every morning to my camino family
We are a family now
Perhaps we will not meet again
I walk on
Deliberately avoid the earlier stopping point
Where I know I will meet familiar pilgrims
It’s nothing to do with them
I’m just tired of talking, I need to think my own thoughts
It’s getting near the end, it’ll be time to go home soon
I choose to be solitary, I want to be alone

This is the part of my life where I walk in ever decreasing circles
A dark day
Dense with shadow and rain
I feel every step
The darkest place I walked
I try to walk for someone else
In repairations I try to walk
It doesn’t help
I try to be grateful
I don’t have to do anything
Just walk
I think of people who haven’t got this choice
I walk then for all the prisoners
then add for all my crimes
It still doesn’t help
I feel every step
I start singing hymns
I think maybe that’s how I’m supposed to arrive to a monastery
That doesn’t help either
Sometimes you just need to get to higher ground
Sometimes that’s painful
I arrive in Samos
Solo pilgrim
There is no one else in this albergue
I am alone in this hostel
It’s a huge room
Over a hundred bunk beds
All empty
Benedictine monastery
Ancient and devoid of life tonight
The monk arrives, he looks like Yoda
And somehow we communicate
Though we can’t speak each others language
I think of walking on but it’s dark outside
And I don’t know what’s ahead
I choose a bed in the far corner where I can assess the situation
Just in case
Yoda gives me a little lamp before he leaves me alone
Teaching me how to lock the big wooden door
His empathy is palpable
I lie down in my bunk
And it hits
My terror of being alone in this space
This unknown place
Out of the corner of my eye I see her
The Lady
Sitting with her face to the wall
two thirds of her face to the wall
All white
All white light
She is present in this space
Tranquil, there’s a peace to her
Still I’m afraid
I convince myself that its just a sheet
so I can close my eyes
In the longest night
Where I play the three songs on my phone over and over
My MP3 stopped working when I passed the quarry
There’s always a kick back period when I change something
When I doubt everything can’t slow my head down
Can’t stop thinking but can’t hear my thoughts
Fits of sleep, itchy feet, belly grumbling
I was so hungry earlier I ate the stew and just picked out the meat
I’m a vegetarian
I sit up in my little bunk in the middle of the night
with the realization that
I manifested this
I wanted to be alone
Solo pilgrim in Samos
I made this happen
And I sleep the most restful sleep of my camino
Rise early and walk the most beautiful way

I sit by the river and watch the stream
frantic then suddenly still a little after
I see ley lines of infinite potential
Torrents of infinite choice
Everything is connected

I arrive in Santiago
Hug the saint, it’s what you do
But that’s not why I’m here
I go beneath
To the little room
With the silver box
Holding his cadaver
What’s left
What’s left
I wonder
Sitting under this emporium of stone
Carried on the backs of pilgrims for years
I stay there the longest time
Heaving tears snotting out of me
I can’t move on until they stop

Everything is different now


I fly home via London
The headline on the Metro reads
“The Lost Decade”
I walk around the Occupy Camp at St. Pauls’ with my uncle
After lunch in The City watching the bankers drink champaign
Back home in Ballyfermot
Opening another letter from the bank
Arrears figure rising
I remember the sensation
I manifested this
and I realize this is all wrong for me
Opening another letter from the bank:

Dear Ms. Dyas…
“I have completed a review and assessment of the financial and other information you provided and regret to advise you that your request has been declined.”

I think of running away

Dear Ms. Dyas
“I have considered all the facts of your case and concluded that there is insufficient income evident now or in the foreseeable future to allow us to consider an alternative repayment plan at this time”
Dear Ms. Dyas
“We continue to manage your case under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP)”

I think of posting back the keys

Dear Ms. Dyas
“You should be aware that if you choose not to engage with us in relation to these arrears, you will lose the protections afforded to you under the Central Bank’s Code of Conduct.

I think of burning it, but it’s terraced

Dear Ms. Dyas
“...where we deem a mortgage unsustainable, we are obliged to inform you of The Options:

1. Voluntary Sale
with 100 grand negative equity that’s not an option

2. Voluntary Surrender
with 100 grand debt following me and having no home that’s not an option

3. Trading Down
it’s a two bedroom terraced house in Ballyfermot

and there’s another one now where you get to rent the home that you previously owned, off the bank*

I fill out another Standard Financial Statement
Write another letter to the bank
I write letters now

Stand in the centre
in this house that was never really my home
The camino showed me that
Think of the families, the other 136, 563  
Choice taken away
Homes under threat, homes lost
The rug of the hearth literally being pulled from under them
Burning desire towards flight and then fight
It’s suffocating, I’m surrounded
I consider the question what do I really need
To live HERE & NOW?
I walked across Spain with just a schoolbag
Every letter, every ticket stub, every receipt
I had to have me things around me
The evidence that I am real
To prove I am here

forensic examination - Downsizing begins
To let it all go
Keeping only what I need to live here and now
It’s an action
An action I can actually take
I examine everything
held for too long in boxes and bags
gathering dead dust, gathering fear
they need to be sent out into the world again
to be used, valued
I was aiming for a different life then

Let the dead die
the camino told me
I try
Every letter, all my things
I spend days scanning documents
Scanning a piece of paper I wrote on when I was twelve
I question the time it takes
Is it worth wasting this time, for this?
Loading CD’s I haven’t played in years
I work off my list
The list and piles of things I never got through
I do, I go through it all
Leave nothing unsent, leave nothing unsaid
photograph everything before I can let go
I go through pockets in jackets I’ll never wear again
His face comes back to me
-2-3-4-5-6- [Prayer Book gift]
“To SW St James
From my heart”
I have to do it like this
take this time
I’m trying to understand

lighting the papers, watching the fire
wishing them all well as it burns
transformation of matter from solid to dust
dust into smoke, smoke into air
blown away into the ether
and all my past is there
I say goodbye
to the things I'm conscious of and the things I'm not
in the watching it lands in a way
that no amount of talking about it ever could

Gifting what I can’t bear to lose
I try to gift the right thing to the right person
I write letters to try to articulate why
and tell them what they mean to me
The only thing I can’t replace is people
a kind of living will, signing with the words
Wishing you
Love & Abundance & Joy
in doing this I am learning to wish that for mySelf too
Gifting jewelry through bloodlines
Trinkets across friendships
I emphasize that they don’t have to keep it
It’s about ABUNDANCE
So they can pass it on, that’s important
Not everyone wants a worn out photocopy of ‘The Desiderata’
or an interactive ET
These were my precious things
I needed to find the right homes for them

Movement, keep everything moving
To lose the remnants of that Life in fear
The opposite of The Love
it’s about letting go, simple old school letting go
How do you let go?
in the action I bear witness to all that went before
Nothing ahead is as hard as what’s behind

I hold my notebooks, I hold what I need
I make repairations, sort out the house with my Da
I couldn’t have done it without him
I hand the keys to an estate agent and become a landlord
and step into The Unknown
It’s hard to extricate yourself from a life

I manifested this
I can manifest something else
I have time

V: WALKING/End of the world/beginning: WATER
SFX: ‘Pass The LOVE’ - Dylan Tighe

Santiago to Finisterre 2013
I place my stick
It’s not my stick, I just use it for a while
I put one foot in front of the other  
I’ve come back to walk to the end of the world
That’s what they call it
Santiago to Finisterre - the end of the world
After there is only Tír na nÓg
That’s what they say
In the forest I walk into the unknown
really now
the fog descends and I can’t see what’s ahead  
I’m walking for miles in the torrential rain
It’s taking time for my body to remember how to walk
It’s there but it takes time to locate
My shoes are wet, feet sore
That didn’t happen the first time
I walked 800 km without one blister
Another pilgrim told me to stay in my flipflops for as long as possible before starting the camino
from his future unknown he told me
I never got one blister
This time is different, its only about 80km
But my feet are already in bits
It’s the eczema, not the walking
I go on
I move forward
I continue through the fog
though I feel a little afraid
into this unknown obscure way
I am suffering now with my feet
They’re red raw and weeping
I don’t know how long this will last
it gets dark rapidly in the fog
it could be forever and ever
This goes on
It goes on…
I can smell the sea and know it’s close
Can’t see the way but know it’s there
it’s not important
Nothing is important
I’ve come back to walk to the end of the world
But I’ve been to the beginning since
I’ve been to the top of the mountain in Andorra
Washed my clothes and myself in a freshwater river
Walked in silence at Bugarach
listened to Sufi Singers chanting from a rooftop in Granada
That’s all with me now
I stay still and listen
how did I get here
from where I existed for the longest time
gone - In a flash
In the blink of an eye  
I live here now

Shelter in a doorway then cross the street to sit in a bar facing another locked church
Open your doors
I want to tell them
Wasted spaces, set times
I meet a man from Rome who’s walking back
We speak together, exchange something else
We are finding that we
Don’t need them to find ‘God’
To find each other
To find ourSelves
I realize now I was afraid to walk to the end of the world
the first time because I thought I was on my own
We are arriving
With every step into the unknown
in this fog that obscures the light, the way
perpetual forward motion
each, every
I continue, I lose my fear  
I lose my fear and I continue  
At the end of the world I burn
what I’ve been carrying for months
For me, for them
Watch it take it’s shape in my fingers
and let it blow out to sea

I sit in Santiago for about five days
I’m in the cashflow situation*

I learn the price of a banana
It’s 18cent in Galicia
I sit in the square at the cathedral
and watch the pilgrims arrive
watch the pigeons
Think back to my first arrival
Still holding impatience in my skin
Phoning my mother to book me a flight
‘I thought you liked it there?’ she said
‘I do, but it’s over now, just book me the flight please’
I couldn’t wait, I couldn’t stop
Even after all those grand jours, big days on my camino
This time I sit in the square
For five days in peace
I sit with mySelf
with the discomfort
In the flow
And be

Smoke a rollie in the archway
Listening to the Opera singers sing ‘Danny Boy’
Take a picture of the red slippers
And think there’s no place like home

DANCE: Stayin’ in The LOVE Rave Meditation
SFX: ‘Pass The LOVE’ - Dylan Tighe

After seven months away I’m back
I hold their keys in my hand
walking through town
Make another bed in someone else’s home
Learn how their heating works
Listen to them when they tell me it’s no problem
to turn it on if I get cold
I left you a few jumpers there on the bed
I’ll fit them windows for your birthday
Here, I bought you a new phone, it’s smart
There’s always a bed at ours if you’re stuck
Don’t worry about the loan for now, it can wait another while
Cross Capel Street Bridge
Pass a young man with a sign that says
“I just need a little bit a help”
In this our city, in this our land

I don’t need to try to be grateful
It’s palpable
Hold their keys in my hand
Each, every
Love is an action

VI: THIS IS MY BODY/Meeting MySelf on Stage: EARTH
SFX: ANGLO-TAPES & Finance Committee on Mortgage Arrears Crisis MIX
VISUAL: This is My Body Film

SFX end: “Because if we stay in their language, nothing happens

If we stay in their language, nothing happens
The only thing she liked about herself was her teeth
And she broke them one night, on the street
linking him, he stumbled, she fell
Teeth smashed
But she still went home and slept with him
I didn’t know I was worth more then

Marked on the body
Planned precisely
to hold the space
of what needs always to be known
Others etched by experiences in The Life
that she was powerless to control

The spiral of Life
her Universe
as I understand it
Carved above the shoulder
Where I can never see completely but always know it’s there

Ear pierced ears, three holes left, one right
Because she used to be Kool, with a ‘k’
Mis-thought-out belly button hole
never healed
Little scar beside, the result of vanity
Nothing else

Birthmark on her inner thigh, high up
embarrassed as a girl to think that they’d think it was dirt
Her Granda said it was the thumbprint of the doctor when he pulled her out
Lighter space around the corner on the right bum cheek she’d try to measure as a child to see if she could fit it on right
The jigsaw of her body
Mismatched in my mind

Beauty spots evolve into moles
the fading elasticity of skin
Ancient markings of the people she came from
Genes grasped in the miasma
Desperate to discern what lay outside her mothers womb
In the plasticity, she made choices based on flesh
Only the body
No that’s not true
The land too
Every cell cohesing the need for earth
To own the earth beneath their feet
The force of it strong enough to attract her
even in that perfect space inside the uterus
of her Mother, carrying her mother too within
Eczema-ed feet is where I hold them still.

She has never given birth
I have never given birth

Born with a clicky hip
nobody really defined what that meant in actuality,
in physicality
But it didn’t stop her
I still suffer with me knee, don’t know if that’s connected
I’ve a scar on the back of my head too but you won’t see that

The first: black rose
pinpricked by a biker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
She liked to tell that story
How he shook her arm and she didn’t feel the needle after
Told much later it meant
the deepest Love
no proof of that though

Ritual pain of the last one
After the free floating
papillon celtic
got before she ever went to
Predates that radical transformation
A softer time
Intended to mark a birth
They went together, shared that pain
Until we came back into The Joy
That took some time

She had to escape the armour first
Built around her
As if her skin was too raw
To expose it to the elements
Metaphorical armour wasn’t enough though
She had to have bricks and mortar
To hide inside
To feel secure
To feel safe
Because she lived in fear
She lived with shame
of trauma
Overwhelming the Life force out of her
Her first experience of sex was rape

Built the walls around her
Paid dearly for it too
Paid in punts, then euros
To keep the walls around her thick
Until she could feel The Joy again
Until I could

First misa
That second night on the camino, in Roncesvalles
Sat in the pew, watched them enter in their robes
After a night lost
slept in a refugio [refu-hio] in the largest remaining birch forest in Europe
burning her clothes in the open fire
Pilgrim mass
I don’t know why I go
I can follow the ritual but not the language
I know it anyway
Feel it in my body
I have to be here
He raises the bread
“Este es mi cuerpo”
And I burst into tears
I burst into tears
Something she held back for years
And I let it
I watch him raise the bread
I observe my mind tell me I’m in a Catholic Church
and I’m against that
I rarely enter a church at home
Passive protest
I observe my tears
locate them in my body
It’s the intention of it that gets me
The intention of it
She let herself become a pilgrim then
Now I’m a pilgrim
Not of any religious route
But something happens in my soul
I know I’m meant to be here

She walked across a country to learn how to be here
Her little legs, ahhhh, poco a poco
Crossed mountains with her school bag on her back
Got up and walked right out of a city
Walked right into and right out of cities
Sat alone with The Crying Sock
All that she had on her
When the grief of it all overcame her
It takes time for the anxiety to leave the body
The last of her tissues left over her urine in a bush somewhere
I learned to piss outside
No one tells you that
That you have to piss outside
No matter, she learned
No shame in that
‘Nature will overcome’ she said

I walked across a country to be here
Meeting mySelf as I walk
Outside the shame
Outside the fear
Outside the guilt
Like another me walking just ahead
Not integral
Not mySelf
I Am
something else
Ici et maintenant
I have no future - I have no past
Just Here & Now

They say she held the key to sovereignty in her person
I have marked mine on my body
136-564, all marked, somehow on our bodies too
136,564 residential mortgages in arrears
The weight of that
The weight of that
Crushing the life force out of us
And I wonder lately how many of us
Became homeowners
after our grannies & granadas purchased houses
they were placed in as
Tenants after Tenements
After our mas & das surrendered their keys
Told there was shame in sharing the land
In this our city, in this our home

Seminal journey of an embryonic nation to
Own the land
To own the earth beneath our feet
As if that’s even possible
As if there’s any real need for that
“As God is our witness
As God is our witness
We will never go hungry again”

We’ve a different kind of hunger now
We’ve another sort of longing on us

This is my body
All I’ll have all my worldly Life
What could I need more?
It is not important
Value only rests in use

VISUAL: Aspects of the stage lighting up and fading out/house lights
SFX: Extract of ‘Pass The LOVE’ - Dylan Tighe

What do I need to live HERE & NOW is not about sacrifice
its about LOVE
I kept my notebooks because I still need them
I have slept in about 50 beds, in over 70 places
since I handed the keys to an estate agent and became
an unlikely landlord
I’m not alone
I stepped into The Unknown and found my community there
I live here now
None of this is over
I’m still in negative equity, I still owe the bank
There’s times when I’ve checked into a hotel
Just to recharge, just to take space
To get what I need to live Here & Now
I’m learning that me making my circumstances worse doesn’t help anyone else
I have that luxury
I gifted my things to people I love
a fraction of the people that I’m actually connected to now
And to strangers, to people I may never meet
it’s a continuous exchange
one piece of clothing for another
one gives, one takes, one takes, one gives
keep it all moving
This is what I have left
I kept this skirt even though I’ve never worn it outside
Because I’d like to, one day, live in such a way
That I can wear it comfortably
I’m not there yet
It’s hard to extricate yourself from a life
but that’s my hope, I’m getting there

I stand outside the Dáil with a placard
Look up at the surveillance cameras and think
We talk about propaganda
as we’re moved into shot to stage the protest
We consider the waste of our energy and time
Observing the age range of the other protesters
It’s all being framed, it’s all very safe
We know how to quantify protest
I write to the Catholic Church in Ireland asking them to
Open their doors for the people sleeping out
in this our city, in this our land
I get a response so I write more letters
I walk to the GPO to post a letter to An Taoiseach
I feel like that’s fitting
Asking him to reconsider selling 13,000 Irish mortgages to the highest International bidder
He does it anyway
I engage in an exchange with the then Minister for Justice
about his role and I walk from the GPO to Mountjoy Jail
in solidarity with an Irish Hero
She serves the sentence anyway
I start to write letters of Joy in parallel with letters of complaint/conflict
So if I write a letter of outrage I write a letter in support of another action
I try to spend my money in small businesses and walk around for a while with a reusable cup
My favourite thing about the ‘boom’ years was take away coffee!

I get new windows put in, buy a new washing machine
a new second hand kitchen and pay property tax
on a house I can’t live in, but I don’t want to
There’s another sort of logic to that
It’s someone else's home now
There’s no solidarity in posting back the keys

I have come to believe that
The Love is the answer to all the questions
and if one person, one human being is suffering unnecessarily
then on a fundamental level we’re failing
LOVE is an Action
and if I can see mySelf I’ve a better chance of seeing you
If we stay in their language, nothing happens
there are ley lines of infinite choice
We’re still here
it’s a capacity issue, not a resource or financial one
We have the capacity
We are beings of infinite potential
Each, every
I am learning continuously
what I need to live

Wishing you all LOVE & ABUNDANCE & JOY
In this moment of
And ever,
Ahhh, then ...

SFX: ‘Pass The LOVE’ - Dylan Tighe

intro to (riff)
Part of me didn’t want to do this
I had a lot of help, I wouldn’t be here without all the help
I asked people who shared some of the way with me to contribute
You’ve seen and heard some of their work here
I’m very grateful to them and inspired by their work
I’m not here on my own
...This is a film I asked Conor Madden ‘AGENDA’ to make in response, we’ve watched thousands of documentaries ….
...This is Sorcha Kenny’s response to the Downsizing … the very beginning of HERE & NOW was in her ‘Walking We Ask Questions’ ...
….This is Dr. Karen Quigley...we’re trying to avoid the whole ‘post-show’ atmosphere, so we’re going to have a ‘slightly amplified chat’ over here if you want to stay and have a cup of tea….


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