The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, December 04, 2010

december at kilcullen


mr heelaz feeling for snow

The snow engulfed Kilcullen a week ago.
It wasn't much by European standards.
But for us it seemed like a most epic blizzard.
Then the blizzard cleared and we were left with beautiful white vistas as far as the eye could see.
It is a nuisance of course.
At least a dozen of my neighbours have had falls or car crashes or truck crashes or some nefarious admixture of all three.
Because the snow brings such hardship, I feel a tad guilty about loving it so much.
But there is poetry here.
A certain timelessness.
My town looks not so different from how it might have looked a hundred years ago.
People wrapped up like woollen snowmen are trudging down the middle of the road. What vehicles there are crawl by at a snail's pace.
Everyone seems friendlier.
Rosy cheeked householders are greeting each other jovially over garden fences in the cold winter air.
People have time to talk.
Kilcullen suddenly seems a much friendlier place.
The barriers have come down.
This is the way it should always be.
Meanwhile the children of Ireland have gone collectively nuts.
The snow means that certain social conventions regarding assault with snowy weapons have been laid aside.
I might as well be walking around with a target on my head and a large sign on my back reading "Snowball me."
There are some interesting political lessons to be learned too.
Government authorities have floundered in their attempts to keep the roads clear.
But the farmers of South Kildare who actually work for a living and needed to ensure their cows' milk could be collected by trucks from the dairy, simply took out their tractors and cleared all the accessways to their farms.
The more motivated shopkeepers on main street did likewise, shovelling the pavements in front of their premises and staying open throughout the bleakest days.
The motorways and primary roads for which our government agencies insisted on retaining responsibility, remained perilous and largely impassable.
Some of the farmers mucked in voluntarily to pull lorries up hills and keep the road network functioning.
One Irish government agency got a bit miffed about this and actually forbid farmers to voluntarily clear roads without completing a Health And Safety course.
I kid you not.
We are terribly addicted to the old entitlements and benefits and inflated salaries and crass interventions and nanny State handouts of the presumptuous unctious bumptious culture of corrupt jobsworth incompetence that is passing away.
Thankfully the faith, self reliance, warmth, compassion, spirit, and glorious down to earth humanity of ordinary Irish people is still with us.
Pure poetry.
This is what will see us through all the blizzards that are to come.

the ornithologist

My cousin Emma's cat.
(She loves the taste of robins.)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

and now this


By James Healy

Oh precious light of the universe illumine our hearts let the peoples know you and praise you, rejoicing in the warmth of grace and true freedom which you bring.

The name of Jesus is spoken with varying pronunciations all over the world.

Italians say it as Gesu.

The Spanish pronounce it to sound like Hay-soos.

The Russians say it Ee-soos.

Arabs say it in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from old Irish, the Arab word being Esa, and the Irish being Iosa.

For a small town carpenter who lived 2000 years ago Jesus Christ has certainly become widely known.


What is it about him that makes his personhood and message so resonant even after the passing of two millennia?

And how on earth can Christians claim he is still alive and that he will soon return in glory to judge the living and the dead, and to inaugurate his kingdom of peace and love, with joy to the world and eternal life for all human beings?

Good Lord.

How could any of this be possible?

Yes, I know there’s a woman who lives in Kilcullen who says she was allowed to be mystically present for a moment at the crucifixion and that she beheld Jesus bleeding on the cross and that later she herself endured her own Calvary.

Yes, I know one of my neighbours was on the edge of death and her family prayed to Jesus through the intercession of that most valiant Christian, Saint Padre Pio, and that she returned to full health.

Yes, I know my Aunt was due in hospital for a heart operation last month and that after our prayers, when the doctors opened her up they were astonished and exclaimed: “There’s nothing wrong with her heart.”

Yes, I know that when Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” the words had a mystic power which has lost none of its grandeur through fifty generations.

Yes, I know that the miracles of Christ then and now bring tears to the eyes.

Yes, I know people at Kilcullen prayer group who claim Jesus power has broken the chains of depression and mental suffering in a way no medication ever could.

Yes, I know that Christians say the kingdom of God is very close, and that Jesus himself said: “The kingdom of God does not admit of observation. For look! The kingdom of God is among you.”

Yes I know one of my Uncles says he saw Jesus in the form of communion bread in the sun at Medjugorje.

Yes, I know Ireland’s most successful woman editor Heather Parsons claims she saw Jesus in person in the sun at Medjugorje.

Yes, I know Father Peter Rookey was blinded by a firework in childhood and regained his eyesight a year and a half later after his mother prayed the rosary every night for that healing.

Yes, I know that in October my mother died with a gentle smile on her face as we prayed the rosary around her bed in Naas hospital.

I know more.

I know Jesus still walks among us, in glory, and light, and grace, and blessings, in his servants and in his own person and in communion at mass.

Jesus still walks.

To him authority has been given.

He has authority over every power, every energy, every nation, every philosophy, every king, every president, every dictator, every boss, every trade unionist, every mental illness, every disease, every victory, every defeat, every tragedy, every joy, every career, every unemployment, every doer of good, every doer of evil, every hopelessness, every grace, every triumph, every glory.

All must answer to him,

He is God now.

No one was born to be a slave.

Not a slave to Satan, nor a slave to human oppressors, nor a slave to money, nor a slave to poverty, nor a slave to pleasure, nor a slave to pain.

He came to put an end to that.

He will be here this Christmas as a baby in the manger.

He is here to see you.

Go to him.