Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - The shopping mall cont...

A few people told me to connect with Seamus Ruttledge (a writer and musician based in Tuam) for our Tuam Spirit Babies project but lo and behold, who should waltz through the door of the Tuam shopping mall but the man himself (talk about synchronicity.)‪#‎Tuamspiritbabies‬

Songs to have with your tea - A CD by Seamus Ruttledge


Seamus quoted a few lines from his beautiful song 'Orphan Child' and again, tears flowed. I've since had the pleasure of listening to the album and it's the last three songs 'You didn't either' 'Orphan Child' and 'Say it Easy' which really resonate.

Here are the lyrics:(All by Seamus Ruttledge)

You didn't either 
No one stood up
You didn't either

No one said a word
You didn't either

No one told the truth
You didn't either
(Chorus)
But you talk like you had
And you act like you cared
And you judge like you knew
Ay-ay-ay-it's true

No one asked why
You didn't either

No one spoke up
You didn't either

No one said stop
You didn't either

Seamus Ruttledge

Powerful

Orphan Child
Sing orphan child
To the wind and the rain
To a new day dawning
When everything is born again

Sing orphan child
To the wind and the rain
To a new day dawning
When everything is born again
Everything is new again
Everything is new again

Seamus Ruttledge

Say it Easy
If you've nothing to say
Say nothing at all
'Cause them that speak
Don't know
And them that know 
They say nothing at all
(Chorus)
Say it easy with love
Say it gently with truth
Say it easy
With love and truth in your heart

Oh Lord I have seen 
Some of yours 
On this earth
They're preaching' and teaching'
With hate and discord
And lies in their hearts
(Chorus)

Now an old man is calling'
Is calling' you
From outside your gates
Tellin' you to say it simple
Tellin' you to say it straight

Say it easy with love
Say it gently with truth
Say it easy
With love and truth 
In your heart

Seamus Ruttledge

Tuam Spirit Babies- Tuam Shopping mall cont...

There's so much food for thought from last Saturday's visit to Tuam to dine out for a month. So here's another aspect.
From the heart - Tuam Shopping mall
The invitation was for all the passersby to contribute 'from the heart' and this is what happened. Whilst the majority want to see action and justice for the 800 disappeared children, a few wish that this chapter be closed, that the site be undisturbed and the infants let be. Let rest. One woman shook her finger at me to emphasise the point as she passed by a second time and it is important that we record this point of view also. Whilst this is a valid stance, I just wonder how many survivors hold this opinion also? Up until now, I haven't heard of anybody who has suffered in the 'homes' or as a result of them and wants to 'leave it be' but welcome their response, after all, they are the ones directly affected...‪#‎Tuamspiritbabies‬


A response from Valerie Dunne

We cannot just let things rest. As a country we still don't value all our citizens equally, this can only change with ongoing questioning and examination of our attitudes to those most vulnerable. This should be the same for all fair thinking societies. The tragic lives of so many mothers and babies were greatly ignored, along with all other injustices they must be aired and discussed and acknowledged to help us heal and grow.


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies -Tuam Shopping Mall


Tuam shopping mall was an experience beyond anything I could have imagined, it’s taken several days to digest the many beautiful synchronicities and connections and it’s only now that I feel I can write about it.

Val McNamara, Pauline Cunningham and I (it was wonderful to have the support of these two lovely ladies and their beautiful energy helped immensely with the day) set off not really knowing where we’d pitch ourselves but thought we’d try the mall first. It turned out to be a perfect spot and soon found ourselves chatting to passers by about the Bon Secours Mother and Baby home which was once in Tuam. People were very free with their opinions and willingly wrote anonymous statements ‘from the heart’ (we will look at these on their own at a later date as they deserve a post of their own) but what became apparent quite quickly was the level of compassion and tenderness that people feel. More men than women contributed at the start (we were surprised by that) but as the day unfolded, it soon balanced out.

We didn’t expect to meet survivors. We met three, who willingly shared their heart wrenching stories of forced adoption and one account of slavery (hard physical labour for long periods of time for £2.50 a month. She called it slavery and so do we. She wasn’t let out and she was brutally punished.) We were moved to tears. We didn’t expect to meet people with memories of the ‘home children.’ We met several, who again, spoke ‘from the heart’ with so much compassion that it was hard not to be moved. Many older people sat and joined us thoughout the day and literally poured out their feelings and stories of those times. People offered to lend support where they could and many will share their stories on film at a later date. Catherine Corless joined us in the morning and left a moving piece of art (see the babies in the basket below which will be included in our exhibition in November they were quite a talking point on their own.) The theme of the day was forced adoption as most of the stories and opinions arose from it (there's so much to write on this subject alone) but it was such a rich day and one I hope never to forget.


Art by and Catherine Corless below


We’re in the middle of a very dark period in Irish history right now, so much has come out regarding the atrocities in Irish institutions and by all accounts, there is more to discover as new stories break on a daily basis. The government has decided, at this juncture, not to investigate the mammoth aspect of baby trafficking and forced adoption (the implications are too vast and far reaching and too many were involved at all levels) the horror of it is so overwhelming at times, that to find any light in the situation is nigh on impossible. It’s human nature to seek the light, find the up side and hope. We are built that way but we also have the ability to negotiate the dark. Our eyes and instincts can adjust to pitch black if we allow them to and a great power can override us if we let go of the fear and go with the flow. Red butterflies were chosen for their obvious connection to Spirit for this project but also for their transformative energy, red to symbolize both anger and passion but there’s less obvious imagery in the necessary period of time that a caterpillar spends in the darkness of the cocoon. In order for it to emerge fully transformed, it must immerse itself in pitch black and be at one with it. Perhaps that’s what we should do (who knows)maybe that’s where the power lies. 
It’s worth investigating, that's for sure.‪#‎Tuamspiritbabies‬

Monday, 15 August 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies- From the heart (Tuam shopping mall)

We spent the entire day (Saturday 13th August) in Tuam shopping mall. It was THE most incredible day on so many levels and we met so many beautiful people. All I'm going to do for the time being, is put these images up in order to give you a taster of the day. There is so much LOVE in Tuam and we were the lucky recipients. Sadie Xx‪#‎Tuamspiritbabies‬




Butterfly heart

Pauline Cunningham and Val McNamara

Sadie Cramer

Catherine Corless

Beautiful art created by Catherine Corless 

Contributions from passers by