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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Understanding the word understand

Life is a series of situations. Isn't it? Everything we do is a kind of situation, the good and bad moments are all moments where we have to make a decision or choose not to make a decision. Strange how we can get involved with certain things and choose to ignore other things around us.
Someone is struggling, really struggling but we don't see that, we see an asshole but we just assume they're being an asshole. We don't see the struggling part... actually we choose not to see it so it's easy for us to wash our hands in the asshole lotion coz the lotion marked with pain is too far away for us to stretch for.....
Pick an emotion, any emotion you like. In fact let's pick a few emotions....
It doesn't matter if you pick one or a thousand emotions, unless you're actually going through these emotions then you have no fucking right to judge them
Ok... so she's in bad form and you feel like talking but she's giving nothing away so you walk away and call her rude... to everyone you meet. She's gone home and her night is only starting and those words she couldn't give you are now pouring from her.... words like 'I'm sorry' and 'Please don't hit me' flow now but you've already told the world she's a snobby cunt....
He's all ends of ignorant. All you said was hi and how are you and he answered with a kind of grunt and now his phone is ringing and he's not answering it and you know it's his wife so you meet those you meet and you assure them that he's a wanker and you know this coz the prick couldn't even be arsed answering his phone to a woman he loves....
Did you ever stop and pause and wonder why the world is the way it is...?
Why she cries or he cries or the day stayed dark for some and didn't even begin for others.
Why is he unable to face the world or you as you are so damn polite....?
Why is she lowering her eyes and not looking up when you've gone out of your way to say hi.....?
Sad that you're so hard done by, sad that you feel you have to bitch because fuck them for the rude ignorance of them....
Did you ever stop and bite the tongue that should choke you instead of choking the reputation of people you know fuck all about...?
The tongue that should poison you the minute you open your mouth but doesn't because life doesn't punish those with a hard mouth.
Life doesn't only punish those who already punish themselves.. life hurts everyone and you have to wait your turn for that because that's life.... but there are those who are vulnerable and yet they live, they live and they try and they ask for nothing except maybe if you meet them take a moment to read them, take a moment to wonder how their shoes would feel on your feet when you've walked in them for a lifetime....
Life is something we'll never understand but people are something we can try to....
When you lie down tonight pull those covers tight around you and take a moment to wonder what life would be like if you weren't you.... If you were one of those you choose to judge.....

Life is what you make it, but in a world now full of abuse and bullying and rape allegations and abortion referendums and homelessness and war and judgement we have chosen to make life a hell of a lot more difficult than life ever intended.....

Life has to be lived.... maybe we should live it individually if we can't bring ourselves to live it together in peace....

Valerie Masters

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Homeless... A universal emergency

Homelessness....
Powerful fucked up word that none of us want to be associated with.... attachment to that word means all kinds of pain and hurt
For me Homeless has many meanings... last night I couldn't sleep after watching the #rtebigpic documentary. It literally kept me awake for many reasons because homeless for me has multiple forms and when I posted a couple of posts about the programme on fb I got called on my opinion...
I was asked to define Homelessness....
So I will......

You're cold and tired and you've just spent the evening hiding what you call a bed underneath a pile of waste beneath actual waste but it's safe because the actual waste won't be collected till Friday and today is only Wednesday. It's 10pm and bedding down won't happen till at least 4am because bedding down means shivering and choking in your own thoughts, and you wish you had a roof and someone to cling to...

You're cold and tired and you've just spent the evening hiding from the moment you have to visit what you call a bed underneath a pile of waste beneath actual hurt and it's not safe because maybe Friday you can sleep and today is only Wednesday, and you have a roof and someone cruel to cling to you....

Today was painful... another day alone and the hours ticked by like minutes and it left you feeling like you woke up two days ago and the tv blares at you and you can't stand the sound of it but you can't stand the sound of nothing screaming at you either....
Must you sleep... must you wake... must every minute scream pain at you....
You're abused... you're alone.... you're lonely.... you're young.... you're old.... you're beaten.....
You're homeless... On the street... In your head.... In your own home.....

Homeless is more than being without a roof... homeless is unhappy, it's lonely, it's a goddamn fucked up moment that never ticks by... it's time trapped in your head that won't allow you to escape.
Being homeless doesn't end until dawn brings you a chance, or peace of mind, or a roof to call your own, or thoughts that once again belong to you.......

Maybe tomorrow eh......

Valerie Masters

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

I believe in Santa Claus

I still believe in Santa Claus.
Sometimes in my head I drift back to the past and suddenly it's warm there and I'm safe there. I'm 6 and its Christmas morning and Santa just brought me a duck on wheels and I'm looking at it wondering why my wedding dress doll isn't there instead and my mother is banging saucepans in the kitchen and my brothers and sisters are arguing over something stupid and Daddy shouts at us to whisht up and get ready for mass and the world is ok. I haven't lost anyone and my heart is not broken with grief and I'm not lonely and in the madness to get us ready for mass I catch my mothers eye and she looks tired and I think nothing of it. I'm 6 what do I know to care.
And that moment is forgotten and I'm back in our kitchen and there's a basin of stuffing on the table and a dead bird and the stuffing is being shoved into the bird and I'm scratching my head to figure out why so I ask Mammy and she wipes her hands on her apron and throws me out of the kitchen so I go out to the garden and I pull my duck on wheels around the yard behind me and in the kitchen window I Mammy again, smiling but tired.
Was she tired or am I seeing a memory I didn't understand then.....
Phantom flashes of yesterday haunt sometimes.
It's almost dinner and I'm starving and there's sweets and biscuits waiting to be ate and we never got sweets and biscuits during the year and I want them and Willie Wonka is on and I climb onto the couch with about 4 other sisters and suddenly my heart is full and the memory makes me want to cry. Should I cry.... then Daddy stretches on the armchair and I can see him staring as us and he looks tired but he just looks at us.... looking back it's because we were so silent and content and he had peace and Mammy calls us and we run and pull each other back and there's so many people and I can't sit at the adult table coz there are so many people and the noise is incredible and the food is amazing and I'm not lonely and no one has died and everyone is there.
The heartache of Christmas will reach me someday but I'm 6 and I don't know that so I pull crackers and eat too much and fight against eating Brussels sprouts and long for the sweets and biscuits under the tree and why isn't dinner over so I can have some sweets....
But I'm no longer 6 and I've seen death and lonely and hurt and people who don't get to fight over getting ready for mass and yet the memory of Christmas as a child never leaves me and I wait for Santa Claus every year because he comes and for a moment everything is ok and I put Brussels Sprouts on the plates for my children even though they hate them and they'll eat them because they know... They know how much I believe in Santa and the power of memories....
And somewhere in the background Mammy will fill the basin with stuffing and Daddy will stretch in the armchair and stare at us....
And neither of them will be tired....

Because it's Christmas and I love them......

Valerie Masters 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The #metoo hashtag is more powerful than me

I've been asked a few times over the last couple of days how I feel about this #metoo hashtag and if I'd like to comment on it or maybe if I'd be willing to post the hashtag on my blog as a sign of solidarity for the abuse women suffer everyday at the hands of men who just don't get it.
And I'd love to post the hashtag..
I'd love to scream from the rooftops that #metoo I've been a victim... I've been hurt or harassed or abused or something that made me uncomfortable but I can't because I'm uncomfortable with the actual hashtag itself
#metoo admits you're a victim and that is powerful. We need to keep talking about abuse and harressment but dangerously this hashtag does a lot more than that. It segregates us once again... It makes us different... Make us stand out.... as women....and as much as victim abuse needs to be shouted from the rooftops, abuse doesn't have a sex....
It means we're telling our abusers that we're a victim and an abuser doesn't fucking care or we wouldn't be a victim in the first place.....
Rape is the biggest hurt... something we are willing to give in love being stolen from us is a violation I can't find words for... how do you describe the pain of helplessness... of having the one thing we give in love robbed from us as we cry silently into a bitten lip....
We as women know the cat calling.. We know the innuendo.... The staring at cleavage.... The slaps on the ass. We also know the pain of being a woman. The office crap and the paid less and the constant jokes of what a man would do to you if he had half a chance.... and oh look at the tits on you and ah fuck it sure you're covered up today.. that's no craic.....
The periods.... The moments we are so vulnerable in tears that we want chocolate and cuddles and the moments we want to pretend we don't have to deal with this. We know the worry of a missed period... The ache of a period that means we once again failed getting pregnant and the deep hurt craving a baby brings. The failure when your child cries... when they are troubled... The everyday things we can't sleep over and we can't solve whether we sleep or not.
We know how we feel at every single moment of every day.
I don't feel the need to talk about Harvey Weinstein.. I really don't. He's a fucked up prick who used power to control women... A sad individual who let his wealth and power go straight to his dick and he hurt women and left them in desperate pain and unable to speak out and he's ten a fucking penny and if he ran for president tomorrow we would be horrified.........
I don't feel the need to post the #metoo hashtag because I'm tired. ... tired of today repeating yesterday and tired of tomorrow getting ready to repeat today. So many men out there are victims too... The quiet wonderful men who just want to be loved are victims of the most crazy abuse... The sort of abuse they can't talk about. They wake up to a day they can't predict, a day that subjects them to name calling and bruises they have to hide. They work hard and protect their children and cry quietly when finally the darkness decides to fall and they're left alone to call themselves terrible names because they're alone... and they're lonely and they don't have a hashtag to fall into. These are the forgotten men... The ones who fall beneath the hashtag that hasn't been invented yet.. The hashtag that leaves a world of pain and a lifetime of silence to continue as long as that hashtag is not invented
I could do a thousand blogs on #metoo
I could stay here and make you cry with a truth that would bleed you but I won't. I can't as long as there is a hidden hashtag... One that makes every victim equal... One that joins us all on the same page....
#victimsunited

Friday, 25 August 2017

Valerie you may be a little crazy...😊

Well now that heading does more than sum me up. I've always loved that I don't just think outside the box I tend to write on the box and draw windows and a door on it.... sometimes I even stretch to a little path and an iron gate. The gate of course is to keep the bad guys out and they stay out coz I tend to draw badly so my gate looks like the teeth of an octopus. Hey they've lots of legs so I'm assuming they've lots of teeth......
But truth be told most of us think outside the box, we just don't tend to draw attention to it. Easier that way I reckon, we can move through life quietly and no-one notices when we react to life in a different way.
I've gotten a serious reaction to my #lovelongford posts.... like serious amazing reaction and I'm blown away by it. I l started the #lovelongford posts with a rant about people hating on Longford and it's grown legs. To be honest it really started from a conversation with my kids. They're both abroad and every now and again they tell me that they're lonely for home. It aches to hear because I'm lonely for them but I also love hearing it because I'm so proud of them flying on wings we gave them.
They miss home and I miss them and sometimes I feel like I'm the one that's away coz missing them leaves me drowning in a strange place and you tend to grasp at anything that can rescue you.
So I grasped at the one thing I know... home.
I'm visiting Longford like it's my first time there and for some of the places I'm visiting it is my first time there in years. And I can hear the future.. and the present and most of the time I can hear my past.....
I hear my father shushing us because there's eight of us and he can't hear himself think while he drives and I hear my mother sighing because there's eight of us and she has long since forgotten how to think at all with the racket we make.
But they took us places and spread out old shabby blankets and soggy sandwiches for the picnics they had packed and told us that we were having the best day but we were all too busy fighting amongst ourselves to understand that... too busy shouting over each other to see the look that fell between them when they locked eyes and ceased to hear their lunatic children not appreciate what we were too young to appreciate.
So I've decided to appreciate the place they raised us... the place they sleep in. I've decided to drive the roads Daddy drove down at five mile an hour...(everyone remembers Christy at five miles an hour stopping for everyone he could fit into the car)
I've decided to walk the paths they lead us down and I've decided that I'll pay tribute to every church in the county and every religion those churches represent because our past sleeps there... our souls rest there waiting for us to remember what they lived for and fought for and when my two wandering children return I will shush them as I drive them to the places I'm visiting and I won't be able to think straight with their chatter but I'll remember to tell them that they're home....
I'll always remember to tell them that they're home

They come from Longford.....

Valerie Masters

Sunday, 20 August 2017

FAQ....Why do I love Longford #lovelongford

Why does anyone do what they do.....
Why? is my most frequently asked question....

I've been through many emotions as a writer...
I found the pen when I was six and my father whisht me while listening to John B Keane. He "Whisht"me.....
I wasn't having that so after discovering who John B Keane was I decided I'd be a writer and playwright (if I ever learn to play right believe me I'll brag about it)
Then I wrote down everything and I mean everything. I was the most annoying child ever... my poor sisters and brothers. To this day I have flashbacks about how absolutely irritating I must have been to them.
Imagine been a teenager and this skinny wannabe child was outside the door writing down everything that was ever said in private and then reading it out in front of people (parents)
Imagine that and then picture me. Yep I own that but I've never felt the need to apologise for it. Never because I'm the youngest of the best family ever. As much as they wanted to kill me for haunting them they also wanted to protect me from the world and I love them for that.
Which makes me want to stop ranting and get to the point  (I can do that... I think)
I've been a writer for so long I don't think about being a writer... I'm a poet (yes I said it). But more importantly I write my mood and my surroundings and my latest post has been written from my soul.
Longford is my home. I was raised there. I spent my childhood in Toome Ballymahon..... Carrickedmond parish. I lived there....Cried there.....lost my Willie there....never found it again. (I was six) begged my sisters to show me theirs...(they refused after they stopped laughing)
Sat at a statue of our Lady believing she was my mother... she wasn't (I was seven and thought I was adpoted) ....
Longford to me is all of the above but it's so much more. It knows me when I want to cry.. knows me when I hate that my kids are too far away to inhale... the scent of my children is the hardest point of missing them for me.
Longford....my parents sleep in you...... My sister in law sleeps in you..... I visit the ground they sleep beneath. The clay that blankets them.
Home.... that's where my heart is. That's where my family have been raised and that's the place I'll defend.
And even though death has stolen some of them I can stand on the soil that protects them and I stand there knowing they sleep in the home they lived in because Longford is home. .... A beautiful county.
We aren't living in slums.... We aren't living under the tyranny of a crazy leader....
We're Irish and Co Longford is beautifully Irish
So love it or leave it alone...
I am County Longford ❤

Friday, 11 August 2017

Love Longford.... or leave it alone

I've spent the last few days out and about exploring and I'm never disappointed by the beauty of our countryside. .... the buildings and landmarks that hold the hearts of people, shelter them, keep them safe and warm and ask for nothing in return..... the simple floating leaf and the worn knotted trees that forever watch us coming and going. The soul within these places and plants that inhale our moods and attempt to calm us with their presence. Soul that's been there for hundreds of years and sometimes only many moments.
I live in County Longford and it's a beautiful stunning wise incredible place to live but If there's one thing that gets on my nerves it's the constant "polls" being shared online about Longford. Who are the people asking these stupid questions and who are the people answering them. Such negatively really disappoints me and I can't help wondering if they are actually true "Polls" or just crap made up by someone who probably doesn't even live in County Longford. I've lived here all my life and I've never been approached and asked what I think of Longford so whoever does these "Polls" should feel free to contact me and ask me. Or do one better and pop down to Ballymahon and I'll give you a tour of our beautiful county length and breath. I'll show you a side to County Longford that will take your breath away.
I'll introduce you to people that will touch your heart and give you memories of County Longford that will stay with you forever
OK we don't have beaches lining the edge of our county and there are areas that need a facelift and yes we have homelessness and poverty and crime and shut up businesses but doesn't every county in Ireland. Doesn't the world face the same problems that Longford face yet these so called "Polls" constantly belittle our home and our people and I'm sick of it.
I'm proud to come from County Longford. Proud to have raised my kids here... educated them here... watched them fall and get up again here so take your "Polls" and toss them into your nearest bin and go for a long walk in County Longford. Speak to the people.. hear their stories... their tragedies... their achievements. Pay attention to what they're telling you.. stories that make Longford people who they are. Strong proud people who have everyday struggles and hopes and dreams and sure as hell don't need your negative reviews of a county that has achieved so much over the years.
The beauty of this County is forgotten... ignored and trampled on. The amazing hearts and kindness of people is rarely spoken of in these so called "Polls". The families who get up everyday and make our County a better place don't have a voice and we're expected to shut up and not fight back when some random stranger decides to desecrate our home and our land.
Well I don't feel like shutting up so go away and leave our home alone. I'm tired of it being attacked by faceless people and stupid questions
Now go put that in your next "Poll".....

Valerie Masters

Friday, 7 July 2017

Why does life hurt?

When does it all begin to make sense? Should you even have a right to know. Death is such a heartless fucker.... everywhere around us there is hurt that's deliberate... hurt that's meant to cause the most pain to someone and yet it's the kind and wonderful that gets sick and spent time fighting for their health. It's the kind and wonderful that die and those left behind are bewildered and left crying to understand.
Today 3 deaths struck me hard.
The loveliest, smallest, cutest, strongest little boy lost his battle with Cancer. A little boy with cancer.. what the actual fuck is wrong with a world that witnesses a beautiful child teach us about strength. Bradley Lowery left this world today with a strength not given to most of us... with a wisdom we could learn from and his family are left to mourn his beauty while we shake our heads because he shouldn't have been sick. An innocent child carrying the weight of such illness that most of us would fall apart carrying to bear.
In another country a mother slipped her hand into her sons without even realising she was doing it. She's clearly broken. I was broken just watching her. Her husband was 2 foot away from her in a coffin... her husband... his father. Two weeks ago exactly after they had sat in the same church on the same seat with another son 2 foot away from them in a coffin....
Two weeks ago that mother sat with one hand in her sons and the other in her husbands mourning a son who died too young... two weeks later she's there again because his fathers heart has broken so deeply it couldn't continue. So it stops...... cruelly it stops without warning and today he sleeps eternally with the son he buried two weeks ago.
I'll be honest it fucked with me. I wanted to visit Mam and tell her about it and tell Dad hold tighter to her but I couldn't do it alone so I waited until Matt was home and brought him with me. I wanted to text everyone I knew and just check in with them and tell them randomly "Hi" for no reason other than I'm still alive to do it. I guess we need anothers strength sometimes...

Why? Why are we here.. are we meant to love so deep or do we do it because we need to be loved? Are we meant to feel this level of pain when another hurts? Are we supposed to understand how bastards can abuse and maim and kill while the beautiful and kind suffer and die.
Where is God when we need answers to the fucked up world we've had to adjust to...?
Where is tomorrow for the people who died today?

#rip Bradley Lowery
Andrew Duggan
Tommy Duggan
And all those who have passed away from us 💔

Valerie Masters