I've become really lackadaisical when it comes to keeping our newsletter up to date but we have been keeping culture alive in Claremorris and will continue to throughout the Autumn.
Claremorris Film Soc. are showing films for free in the library: usually the last Wednesday of the month, although due to Halloween break and kids needing to celebrate with parents we rescheduled for October.
Claremorris Visual Artists exhibition, which has been in the library since Culture Night, is being transferred to Claremorris Gallery the 26th Oct. It's well worth checking out and we hope we'll have them exhibit again in the library.
Claremorris Community Radio has been busy and will be even busier moving to their new premises in the not too distant future. I continue to do my voice and vision show on Fridays at 4pm with them, which is worth a listen.
GOA Claremorris walking club are still going strong, every Wednesday at 6pm from the Curam and Saturday morning at 9.30am from McMahon Park, even though numbers are down since I stopped texting everyone to get of their asses.(GOA)
We continue to organise events with locals for the benefit of our community's cultural legacy to the next generation. So if you've got an idea about something we could do, please let us know. Thanks.
That's it folks. Short and sweet as I've things to do.
It's that time of year and the sun is sporadically shining for us in the heart of the west. We've got a great line up of cultural events and more participants for this year's festival, as well as support from the local governing bodies. This support is greatly appreciated as it is important not only in sustaining community arts in rural areas but developing creative practices which reflect the arts and heritage of our local community.
Our sense of identity goes hand in hand with the landscape we grew up in, as does our understanding of arts, heritage and environment. As a teenager and towny who considered the country and culties as being different from us they only were goegraphically and as a teenager I was rather fond of the company of the young ladies who would visit the town on a Friday night for the disco.
Having lived most of my adult life in big cities abroad I think a bit more globally, try and act locally but what I appreciate most living in a rural community on the outskirts of town surrounded by countryside is having the best of both worlds, that are really only one and that's what we're looking at with Clive Bright's Exhibiton on the secret life of soil, our heritage bus tours taking in some of the historical sites and places of great beauty that we don't visit often enough, especially when we're feeling bored watching the screen.
There is so much going on in this community and in the countryside that we are unaware of and if our agri-cultural world were to be forgotten or to decline like our bees there wouldn't be much colour or taste in town or country.
Apart from the exhibtion and heritage tours, we've also got theatre and film that looks at what else shapes our culture and sense of identity: Mise Eire represents us nationally, while the theatrical performances and postshow talks created and inspired the journey many of make only to find ourselves returning home again sometimes wiser, sometimes weaker from our experience in the wider world but as Freud suggested and T.S. Eliot poetically put it sometimes, the way forward is the way back. The Railway Theatre Group's Three plus One:
The Railway Theatre Group was formed in 2015, when four local Mayo ladies joined together with the common ambition of devising an original piece of Irish Drama. Over many months, Stacey Flaherty, Sharon Cameron, and Ainé Mc Nicholas under the direction of Mary Ellen Conlon worked at developing ‘Three Plus one’ . The play is based on fictional characters and explores the complexity of female relationships. The play examines the dynamic of three sisters, the unlikely support of three strangers and the complex and highly nuanced nature of the mother/daughter relationship. While the play focuses on serious life issues there are many light hearted moments especially in the character of homeless lady ‘Nancy’ and her dog ‘Danny’.
Behind Closed Doors is a black comedy about Irish disfunctionality in its many guises. The land of 'saints, scholars and schizophrenia' as Nancy Scheper-Hughes so aptly coined it. It's at how we cope rather confront issues past and present and how the ghosts can haunt us. Of course if we can't laugh at the folly of our addictive behaviour then it's very hard to talk about tackling dis-ease seriously and healing, which is what we'll be doing with our postshow talks to give the audience a chance to share their opinion about both pieces with a HSE counsellour talking about our emotions.
This is a festival about our performance as a community and how actions speak louder than words and examining things through the microscopic lens in order to see what shapes the macrocosm. So it's all about re-evolution in a environmentally friendly way and we're doing our bit to raise awareness of the fragility and beauty of life so we won't miss or ever take it for granted.
Flooding in its purest form involves forced, prolonged exposure to the actual stimulus that provoked the original trauma.
In the mid-1960s, Thomas Stampfl, pioneered a technique called 'implosion therapy' to treat phobias. He found that phobic patients who were bombarded with detailed descriptions of the situations that they feared for six to nine continuous hours lost their fear of those situations. His research was expanded upon and refined by Zev Wanderer, who used biofeedback machines to monitor patients listening to verbal descriptions of what they most feared. By concentrating on the phrases that sparked the most intense reactions, Wanderer reduced the time needed for the first flooding session from nine hours to about two hours. Patients then returned for further sessions, usually as short as half an hour.
To increase the effectiveness of the therapy and shorten the time needed, Wanderer combined the in-office therapy with loop recordings of the phrases that were most likely to trigger the phobic reactions. His patients would take the tape recordings home and listen to them as 'homework'.
We have all witnessed if not personally experienced the flooding that has occurred this winter and spring and we are now inundated once again with politicians promising to alleviate our pains once we hand over the reigns of power to them to rule our world.
But what about taking a little more charge of our own lives and community by actually doing something ourselves?
We’re born survivors but whether we thrive or not is up to us all. On this Spring awakening 1916 it has dawned on us once again that we are a nation struggling to survive in this climate of change. as Freud or T.S. Eliot poetically put it.
“The way forward is the way back” to what may well be the only way we’ll regain a sense of natural balance with our environment be it political or natural.
I’m talking about re-evolution and rebellion against the same oppressive powers that have dogged humanity since we crawled from the sea and began to breathe and breed and breed.
There’s way to many of us rapacious creatures for nature to contend with so nature is fighting back by culling us once again through the spread of disease amongst us.
Don’t worry this is not all doom and gloom, its evolution and the sooner we learn to accept that, the sooner we’ll learn not to traumatise ourselves seeking solutions to the inevitable demise of our kind. By the way this is way, way, way in the future and by then we won’t even be thinking as we do now.
What we need to do now is live life and believe in the altruistic response of life itself to answer us. Self-belief is more important than wishing things were different. So after our long winter of discontent it’s time to reawaken and fulfil our potential which has been hibernating and waiting impatiently to spring into action.
We've a long road ahead of us but we're in good company.
Daylight dims and darkness creeps in that little bit quicker in the evening. One is not always aware and all of a sudden you look up or look out and there's the a full moon instead of sun coolly climbing in the sky.
I've come down from my lofty tower in the early hours of the morning to contemplate it's pale beauty in silence. Life always seems more serene and to flow naturally when most of our species are curled up in bed.
It's almost fairy time again and I can hear the water gurgling in the cistern as I finish my meandering through photos of the past as the Autumn festival is almost at last. The trees not yet in Yeat's Autumn beauty but we'll soon be singing down by the sally gardens and gathering hazel nuts again.
Though no Labyrinth or Forest to get lost and find myself again this Autumn gathering of community friends offers fruit and more food for thought that our Midsummer beginning.
I'll leave you for now in the company of W.B. whose poetry we will be reciting on September 18 in the wonderful acoustic setting of Claremorris Library accompanied by Grainne Hambly.
The Wild Swans at Coole
One always knows summer is in the air when there is talk of exams and festivals galore to attend. This year we are delighted to be bringing some internationally renowned musicians as well as great local talents.
Friday will be dedicated to music and literature in the wonderful acoustic setting of Claremorris County Library where we'll have the stringed instruments of Grainne Hambly and Kazu Suwa on Irish harp and Spanish Classic Guitar playing compositions from their new albums as well as accompanying the words of well known poets such as W.B. Yeats and others from the west of Ireland.
Saturday will be dedicated to theatre and film with a workshop on the art of storytelling and a theatrical representation that evening in the Town Hall Theatre.
There will also be a tour of the town in the company of Colman O'Raghallaigh as well as a talk about it's history by Pat Keane from the historical society accompanied by rare video footage and imagery preserved for posterity by Joe Gilmore hated in conjunction with Claremorris Film Society.
After The Claremorris Players A Wake in the West we'll do our best to more local talent on stage with live live music and dancing with DJ Eamon Kelly reeling back the years with the legends of Rock and Roll to dance the night away.
Sunday begins with the a dawn chorus and walk in the park following Chris and Lynda Huxley who'll be sharing their expertise on the flora and Fauna of Clare Lake/ Mc Mahon Park and the Land of the Giants.
There'll be a nature trail and orienteering challenge for the more daring and active children among us with a prize for the fastest in finding all the missing letters and working out the anagram.
A detailed schedule will soon be coming giving you ample to time to register for events.
Is it spring yet? Are we there yet? It feels like it today and all of a sudden I'm thinking about things I'd like to do if I had the funding to. Not just for me but for community arts. It'll soon be festival time again and I'm planning although this year we're going to coincide with culture night and Claremorris Open Exhibition COE to try and draw a host of golden daft old dills to laugh along with us and have some fun.
We'll be inviting our usual motley crew of foreign Finnish, French and Japanese guests to open our eyes to the madness and music of the performing arts.
Wouldn't it be nice for a change to see reindeer in our local park, contemporary art explained in a foreign language and the classic guitar in the celestial setting of our church library.
The Claremorris Players Performance Society A Wake in the West whom Dr. John is mixed up in has been going well, raising money for charities and the source of much hilarity in small communities.
Next weekend we'll be in Brickens performing for the meals on wheels and raising a bit of money for them.
Come along if you've got nothing better to do on Sunday evening as you're guaranteed a good belly laugh.
Talk soon. Gotta go out and soak up the last few rays of sun before they fade away.
Plans once more are afoot for a festival that will incorporate more on the community and leave less of the work to herr director personally.
The winter has been spent so far brooding on whether it's worthwhile bringing performing arts if you're not not the best when it comes to organising it. Why not stick to what I do best and brood upon my books and write some more verse and more on those plays you'd like to see performed to secure your future as a playwright rather than non prophet organisation.
why not do both but know thy limits and seek not to go beyond the bounds?
I've spent some time in hibernation over the winter, not wishing to venture any further than was necessary. Not even to attend events I would have liked to if my mood were not so morose or melancholy.
Having steeped myself in the experience of loss though never in despair I find a veil has been lifted and I begin to rise again. I'm discussing with a friend the relationship between my life and the arts in which I'm engaged in. My attempts to transform my own need for therapy from the traumas of life that have befallen me into some sort of public performance. Much of my writing whether it be performed in public or becomes the private inner-narrative of my own performance deals with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that I imagine befall most people in some form or other. I have not quite gone as far as Shakespeare's Hamlet though he is a ghostly companion whose spirit is ever present. But to grow to a point.
I don't believe I can really separate me into public and private performer. Nor do I believe that anyone whom I've read recently has done so when I know a little about their personal history. It is plain to see that they've transformed their personal lives into characters that have entertained me and kept me turning the pages to discover what happens to these lovers in the end.
My own romantic stories will be no different only I seek to emulate them in creating something that goes beyond ourselves and is worth sharing. Not art for art's sake, not experience for experience's sake but for the sake of a good story with an ending which heals the artist and the audience and in some way offers hope for us all.
This winter has been taken up so far with course preparation for the new year and doing courses. The next meeting on theatre in a rural landscape is in December when we'll know where our creative future in Europe lies.