A TARA Hill-based author has released her first book of poetry, 'Open To Love', which, she hopes, will connect people to their spirit. Norah Clifford Kelly wrote the book following a road traffic accident five years ago and her subsequent experience with ill-health.
Norah, a native of Kerry, has lived in north Wexford for more than a decade, having resided in Wicklow for 23 years before that.
She is a practising Reiki master, Seichem master, and teacher. ' In my former life I was a Montessori teacher and I absolutely loved it,' she said.
While on a sabbatical five years ago, she had a road accident after encountering black ice. ' Before the accident occurred, I could feel a beautiful energy,' she said. 'I went on a search for what this was.'
Following the crash she developed fibromyalgia. 'I had plenty of time to sit and write,' she explained. ' The accident did change the course of my life. Before it happened, I climbed three mountains a year. Now I wouldn't be able to do that. On good days, I'm lucky if I get the walks in.'
Norah studied ' The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron during her recovery. ' The poems started coming to me,' she said.
She later read her composition 'A special sacred space' on the Joe Duffy radio show in 2009, and Joe told her there was 'a beautiful energy' in the poem.
Then, while doing an artist's course with Maureen O'Callaghan in Gorey Community School, she was encouraged to put her poems in a book. ' They said "why are you hiding them away?"' she recalled. ' They said they are so healing, and will help people.'
With the help of Tobin Printers, the book was quickly put together, and since it was released, it has sold well. It's available in several shops including Chapter One, Mrs Bees; Partridges, Angelic Companions, all in Gorey, as well as in Avoca and Kilmacanogue in Wicklow.
The poems' themes include nature's inspiration and childhood, and there are also personal and love poems, prayers, and poems about loss, grief and life. 'It seems to have struck a chord with people,' said Norah, 'particularly people who are on healing journeys. If I had thought for one moment it would help people, I would have brought it out long ago.'
A percentage of the profits from the book are going to go to the Neonatal unit at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin in Dublin.