Age shall not wither them in eternal spring
Published 13/03/2014 | 02:30
* Please may I share, once again, the following, beautifully written letter by Anthony Woods of Ennis, with Michael Dryhurst (Letters, March 11, "No country for old men") and with all in their golden years, who may, at this stage of their lives, feel a little unwanted.
If reading this doesn't make us feel good about ourselves, nothing will!
"As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with ageing.
"Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4am or sleep until noon?
"I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the '50s,'60s and '70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
"I will walk the beach in a swimsuit that is stretched over a bulging body and I will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They too will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
"Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
"I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey and to have my youthful laughs forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
"So many have never laughed and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it). I am I!
I am free!"
GLENTIES, CO DONEGAL
TRIBUTE TO CHRISTINE
* We broke the silence, we learned to embrace the inner child within ourselves in which we were taught to hate
We learned to stop the self-harm, blaming ourselves
We are stars in the sky shining
Christine, your eyes your smile, your tears your laughter.
CORK STREET, DUBLIN 8
HAD ENOUGH OF UKRAINE
* With most people hitting saturation point with the relative non-event that is the Ukraine – in relation to Ireland, that is, seeing as it is not even part of the EU – is it not time to ask serious questions about the editorial decisions of RTE?
There were serious protests in Spain, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and elsewhere in the EU and they barely got a fraction of the coverage that the Ukraine is getting.
Furthermore, there is a serious chance that Scotland may be forced out of the EU for establishing its independence and yet it barely gets a mention.
ATHENRY, CO GALWAY
WE HOPE IN THIS POPE
* I am convinced that very many people who no longer go to Mass regularly have not lost their faith, as some people seem to think. Is it not much more likely, that they have become disillusioned, at the shennanigans and the skulduggery, and two-faced hypocrisy, that has gone on in high places?
This Pope, thank God, has the common touch; like Christ Himself, he goes out to where the sheep are. What a monumental change almost overnight. And it's only starting.
ADDRESS WITH EDITOR
BLAMING THE VICTIMS
* I am writing in response to Mary Kenny's column 'Why do women with freedom and opportunity choose violent partners?' (Irish Independent, March 10).
Is this a serious question?
It seems to me that Ms Kenny's piece is of the "teach girls not to get hit" rather than the "teach boys not to hit" school of thought.
This column is an example of victim-blaming at its worst.
LOSING THEIR WAY
* Charity begins at the boardroom.
CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, CO LEITRIM
SHOW SOME TOLERANCE
* I heard that Iarnrod Eireann is banning vaping because it makes some people "feel uncomfortable".
Will they also ban armpit scratching, sneezing, arguments, unsightly bare thighs, smelly feet, inappropriate cleavage, bad breath, because these things make some people "feel uncomfortable"?
I assume that some alcoholics would have felt uncomfortable hurtling along in a confined space with drink sloshing around them before it was banned.
I'm sure your readers can think of many other things that could also be banned, now that they've started the ball rolling.
SWORDS, CO DUBLIN
* Our national holiday is upon us. Should the shamrock take on a further symbolism with our modern day trinity of Bono, Bob and BOD?
KILKENNY WEST, GLASSON, ATHLONE
OUR APPALLING SIGNAGE
* On a recent drive to Westport, Co Mayo, I passed through Strokestown in Co Roscommon and was aware that it's home to the Irish National Famine Museum.
Half-tempted to stop off en route and pay a visit, I approached Strokestown from the Dublin side and kept an eye out for signage.
I shouldn't have bothered as I got to the Mayo side of the town, on to Westport and then back to Meath, still unaware of where the centre is.
What is the point in having an historic centre of such significance when nobody knows where it is due to the chronic Irish disease of poor signposting?
If an Irish person can't find it at his leisure, how is the proverbial tourist from Tennessee expected to locate the building and get a grasp of what drove their ancestors out of the country in the first place?
Is it any wonder the most consistent gripe of visitors to this country is poor signage?
What a waste.
How can we make the tourist experience a pleasant one when we don't see Irish life from their perspective, instead of assuming that everyone in this country knows instinctively where to go?
WHITE CROSS, DULEEK, CO MEATH
MASTERS OF LANGUAGE
* Liam Power wrote dismissivelyfrom Malta (Letters, March 11) that Irish politicians were unable "to converse in anything other than a laughable version of pidgin English". Clearly, Mr Power is unaware that the President of Ireland is trilingual and has forgotten that when Brian Lenihan famously rang the then French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, he conversed in fluent French.
Most top Irish politicians are bilingual and every one of them is fluent in a foreign language called English. Thus, evidentially, if there is such a thing as a "brain drain" it is not flowing in the direction of Malta.
BEARNA, CO GALWAY