Space and Time..

Hi all,

Taking a bit of space and time here on the mountain. Lots of good things happening and new journeys unfolding. That’s not to say there haven’t been any obstacles or hard times, either. So while I would like to stick up an idyllic “Gone fishing” sign, unfortunately that is not the case. Life is not that easy! Working on a few writing projects here, but I need to arm and steel myself, before launching myself back on the world. Before we know it, it will be summer and I will be back again. Many thanks to all who continue to read and support the blog. I have lots in store for Zany Mountain, including the design and layout of the blog and new  exciting collaborations. For now, taking a small break, while I work it all out. See you all soon., my loves,

Kat x

Loss and Love.

I am conscious that this is the second post in row, featuring the word, love. Honestly, you really must think I am a soppy auld cow. Except I am not, really. I am hewn from clear and clean mountain air, worry and sweet isolation.

I may travel, but Limerick is my blood; the very essence of my being. I fight it lads, I fight the Stab City tag, the prejudice, comments and the constant slagging. Secretly I relish it, really. Here is a bit of a secret; those urban, inner city Dublin folks love Limerick, I am met constantly by Dubs going “I would never have thought that I would have been friendly with a Limerick person” Yes the Dubs and the Limericks- born for each other. Natural companions-who’d have thought? It is all in the wit and the fun.

When I think of Limerick, I often think of magnificent women. Limerick women are famed for their beauty-so they say. They also  have the skill of softness, toughness and reality, a love of family and friends. A very real combination.

A great Limerick woman departed our shores today. A true woman, born of kindness and inner beauty and love of family and fun. Safe travels Helen. We don’t want to hear it but life delivers us lessons. Thank you .

The Art of Worry……

I’m a worrier. I was born to ruminate, to ponder and to plan. My worry gene is rooted deeply-you might say it is generational. My Granny, who lived with us growing up was an amazing woman, but she was known as fussy woman-in other words; a worrier. Granny was the woman who fed and watered and mithered over us. She was the woman, who on my first day of secondary school, rose at the crack of dawn and made sure I  had eaten for breakfast and had the right socks, of all things. She was the woman who made sure I had a spare pen for my exams, the passport when I decided to take off to live afar and she always drilled into me the idea of pin money. Always have a few quid stashed away for a taxi, or the “way home”.  One day she told me that all this worry over small things would mean I wouldn’t worry about the big things.

Now being my Granny’s granddaughter, I naturally worry about the small things, endlessly.  I have literally  years of experience clocked up fretting  about car parking spaces, timetables, work schedules, paperwork, even, for the love of God, fecking socks. And since having children, well not only do I have to worry about myself-but about the small things that bother other living, breathing  humans too. Yahoo, such joy, multiplying all  that worry, yes?

Look, it’s not going to change anytime soon, the small worries of this world. I have accepted that this is my inherent nature to fret a little.

But, Granny was right. I’ve had BIG worries lately. Worries without an end in sight, or so it seemed in the early days. And folks, I will admit, I nearly went under that old ton of bricks.

Until last Tuesday at about 4.55 pm. Yes, I know, dear readers, I like to have my revelations at the most mundane of times. (Feel free to step off the roller-coaster of this blog, anytime, if you feel the excitement is getting too much!) . What happened that day? Firstly, I  simply realised that my worse fears had been recognised in the last 6 months. Secondly, I realised that we had survived these fears, not only survived them, but managed them. And in that ordinary moment, in my ordinary car, driving to my ordinary suburb, I felt a sense of peace and calm that I can only describe as  pure and utter freedom of being, a rare sense of almost floating….

That was until the petrol gauge beeped yellow and my  small worry meter shot up again, of course…….

Food for thought folks

Kat xx

Tales of Love.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. Not romantic love (Jesus Christ I am Irish-what would I be doing talking about that in public), but rather the deep down, human, connected kind of love, the type that often goes unnoticed; somehow taken for granted.

I was in Clare a few weeks ago. The weekend weather was wild, stormy, and dark. The rain lashed endlessly and it was freezing. No place for the faint of heart. We ran into a bit of car trouble there on our last evening. My mind, low as it could ever be at the end of winter, drifted. I could not sleep that night. I paced the house, restless and unsettled, anxious and worried about getting back to Dublin for work. I hopped into bed beside my youngest daughter, who was still and peaceful.  Without even thinking she cradled her hand in mine and held it for the few hours of snatched sleep ahead. Did she sense my unease or distress? She did instinctively in the unconditional way of children. And this is the way of uncomplicated, easy love, isn’t it….

There has been a series of unfortunate events lately up on Zany Mountain. Nothing life threatening such as bad health but still, loads and loads of minor things that, when lined up, can conspire to make a person to feel  they are being buried under a ton of bricks. I often notice that when one is stressed, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage said stress. Such a paradox, but so true. When things are going along nicely, we manage well. We socialise. Go for lunch.  Meet the girls with ease. Exercise; eat good food; laugh and float along. Not a bother on us, skin glowing, hair shining. But it is when the chips are down, in the very time we should be meeting the girls and exercising and eating well, we isolate and insulate ourselves. How flawed is our thinking. Our very human mechanism wired for failure………..

Or is it??? We as humans have also one last trick up our sleeves. And that is our ability for survival and gratitude. Now real gratitude is so very hard to cultivate, least of all in the rough times. Or so I thought, until recently.  I am Irish to my fingertips as in, I have a capacity for pessimism and fatalism. It is natural for me to look on the bleak side.  And in my recent grey times, the chink of light for me has been the kindness shown to us lately. And so in no particular order; to the friend who made me go walking, when all I wanted to do was stay in and cry, thank you.  And the one who left a bottle of wine and a card on the doorstep, I’ll find out who you are yet….to the mechanic who got me the best deal when the car broke down; to my 76 year Dad for driving across the country and back when we were stranded. For my Mam for ringing me every single day; to my friend who gave me a few fencing panels when the fence blew down. And the friend who picked me up at the station when we were tired and worn. Thank you. Thank you. These small things are the very essence of love and connection;  they have made the hard times worth bearing.

I do not wish one second of hardship on any one of my friends or readers. Not one second. But if hard times come your way, take heart. It will be VERY tough in the middle of the storm, but when it passes, you will emerge,  stronger, clearer and more conscious of love and kindness and friendship than you will have ever been. From (almost) the other side, I nearly envy your journey.  It will all be worth it. You’ll  understand the true nature of love. I promise. And you know, what else really matters?

Til next time,

Kat x

The Sixth Sense..

Sometimes I wonder do many people see the world through my lens. I  honestly  thought everyone saw patterns and places and times in the same way I did, until I saw a post by one of my favourite bloggers; Office Mum, where she talks about Synesthesia.  The jist of it was that apparently, some of us tricky and complicated humans  have an added sense-  where we associate colours and patterns with words, numbers and places. This is also very apparent with musical people-many see notes in colour. I sat bolt upright; this is a thing! I never knew-I thought it was normal to view the world in such a way!

After reading the article, and almost breaking my neck nodding  in agreement, I  noticed that I see the months of the year in a ferris wheel formation. July is right at the top, January is at the bottom.  October to the left; April to the right. I see patterns and colours at every turn. Places are coloured  for me; Dublin is a vivid burnt orange, Clare is azure blue. Cork likes to think she is tough but in my mind, she is a soft dove grey.  My home place Limerick; she is bay leaf green, dark, lush, complex. Note my counties also have genders!

Since I was fluting around the place, thinking this was all normal, I am flabbergasted that this is a thing and other people actually experience this.  And the thing is I am not a bit orderly. Not one bit. Just that I naturally ascribe positions to the months and years and I see places in colour. And the best bit of having Synesthesia?……. We make great writers. Our senses are expanded. It is a gift…….

If any of my readers experience this, I’d love to hear from them.

Kat x

Miss Pushy Universe..

For the last wintry black months or so, I have been in a bit of a slumber. Well not in a slumber exactly; that sounds way too blissful. But in the grind, if you get me. You know that particular numbing, yet busy experience? I know loads of you do. Get up. Coffee. Go to work. Come home. Dinner. Homework. Kids. Athletics. Laundry. Bed. Yes that daily grind. If you are lucky you’ll collapse after 8.30 pm with a cuppa or a glass of wine. And then you get up eight hours later  to do it all again. Because the routine is the curious combination of being tightly wound, complex, yet full of drudgery, one tends to just go on auto pilot. You fight it, but it is easier to cruise through.  Sure you haven’t the energy to be going changing the routine, it takes enough as it is to control it in case the whole place comes crashing down around your ears.

I sometimes forget about this blog when I am on the production line of life.  About Zany, rainy mountain. The place where reflection and the signs of nature whisper and nag as the seasons pass. Along with forgetting about the blog, I feel lately, I have lost the ability to press the pause button on life. A few weeks ago  I actually got out of the car and was dashing in with the shopping, when I noticed the birds were singing wildly and hopefully in our bare willow tree. It stopped me in my tracks, I sagged against the car, almost hopeless and weak. What has become of me I thought, dashing hither and dither?  Nothing is better because of the rush to ..what? Perfection? Being on time with my self -imposed , punishing schedule? The neighbours? In that mundane , exhausting moment; the plastic handle  of the bag, digging into my hand, I felt deeply the very pointlessness of it all.

And then-when I could not slump any further. Things started to well, shake it up a little.  A small bit at first-a cracked tooth, as an example. A few tricky troubles with the boiler. The faithful, oft mentioned Toyota Corolla (Rocky) broke down-not once but twice, the second time was terminal on a silent country bend in County Meath. The fence blew down in a storm. There was a fierce row over something, somewhere. A caustic, yet devastating comment, which changed the course of events in a tribe I was part of. All unpredictable, all not without cost or consequences. 

And yet, yet; each tiny catastrophe has brought insight and a certain freedom. The tooth was fixed, beloved Rocky has been waved off, Rocky 2 has arrived.  The fence? well it needed replacing anyway and tribes are not forever-you sometimes need to push on as an individual, for true peace for yourself.

I happened to come across an article about listening to the whispers of the Universe a few weeks ago. Whispers?? Lately she roars and deafens and pushes. She has stirred me  from my coma, grabbed me by my shoulders and has shaken me alive. It is tough.  People sympathise. It is strange. But Miss Pushy Universe, I like your style. I am awake again. At last……….

Til next time,

Kat

A Fierce Dose…

On the day of the Inauguration of he who cannot be named,  Mr Zany Mountain’s contract ended. We did what all couples who ever met in university in Ireland in the nineties always  did when the chips are down; we repaired to the pub. Except me and Mr Zany Mountain hadn’t been to a pub since the actual nineties, or so it felt. We stopped for lunch, sensible green tea for him, a few glasses of vino for me. In the afternoon. By 4 pm we headed home, to watch said Inauguration. By God, I understood  at that historic point in time that things were not exactly looking the Mae West and things were a bit poisoned and angry; but I started to feel slightly toxic that evening. Very cluttered of mind but also exhausted and very, very off.  Putting it down to worry and fear (look; no stranger to this soul) the next morning, I felt about 102. Ever in denial about my own self care , I finally blamed it on a mild hangover.

On Sunday I could not climb the stairs or barely read the papers. I am fearful about everything generally-domestic issues; hell, I got me a job in the number one political area in Ireland, (what was I thinking!) Brexit, the USA- the whole shebang, but this time I really ached, deeply and physically.  This tiredness continued on Monday-my own Irish Mammy, very insightfully suggested that I might actually be sick. “Ah no” I said, ” Sure I am only a bit tired with everything”.  Well. By Tuesday night, I was ranting, raving, sweating, chilled, vomiting, unable to move. Hallucinating, If you don’t mind. I had what the Irish  like to term as an awful dose. Having not had an awful dose for such a while, and having to be chauffeured to the GP, and literally shuffled into the clinic by the ever patient Mr ZM; I fought no man and collapsed into the bed for three days

Being forced to take to the bed,  with no physical or mental fight left in me, was interesting. I felt like death. The pain so vivid. I slept, feverishly; I dreamt of Crowley’s  Shop in Kilfinane; my childhood home. I revisited every room. Sometimes the rooms twisted like a Dali painting. I walked with old friends. I met them, some with messages. I watched the curiously high sky over my bedroom window, as large birds swept and swooped. If you want to bird watch, come to Clonsilla and Meath-we have eagles here; I am certain. I’ve seen them pirouette and dance in the sky. I heard the wind break over the fences, unsure if it was night or day; I’ve seen the skies scudding from grey to pink and blue again.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.  But the one thing I ended up with was a curious gratitude. Gratitude for a few nice messages; for Mr ZM making my favourite dinner, when I couldn’t eat, cuddles from the kids, visions of eagles against a grey, high sky; calls from the Mammy, a friend throwing a few quid into the syndicate at work; sending me job links for himself. Goddammit; I was thankful for my own health at the end of those days.

Look, I wasn’t at the door of death, just in the climb of a fever and bound of bed; so outside  of my normal physical self.  Things are aren’t looking great folks in general, domestically or internationally. But globally there are still childhood dreams and glimpses through  windows of birds and vast skies; signs of  love and  friendship and thankfulness.  I’m back to myself at last. Glad for glimmers of hope and kindness and messages in these feverish times. The Force is with us; even in the darkness.  Never forget that, my loves.

Until next time, Kat x