Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

The Wednesday Corner With Fycsene Shields

It is a few weeks now since I posted a Wednesday Corner, due to the spectacular crash of the hard drive on my computer. I apologise to all those who have been waiting patiently for me to post their pieces. I have a lot of catching up to do.

However, I have great pleasure in introducing you to artist and poet Fycsene Shields.  Many thanks, Fycsene for your lovely piece. I know that you have suffered tragedy, and it is to people like you who find their way through such dark times that many of us turn when we are in need.

 

How many times a week do you feel inspired?

By Fycsene Shields

Have you felt the pure and fulfilled satisfaction of creating something beautiful?

Not something which is useful, or which will sell, but something which, by looking at it, brings a feeling of pleasure? Magical words, which provoke emotions or a single image, immortalising a moment?

Fycsene

When my husband died last year, on returning from his funeral, when friends and family were gone home, I wandered the house, stunned at the fact that I would never again see or hear the person I had spent my entire adult life with.

Amidst isolation and an unknown future, I felt the overwhelming urge to draw. I trained as an artist and photographer, but hadn’t drawn for years. With three young children and a business to care for, I had no time for the luxury of gazing at the beauty of the world around us.

Incapable of much else at the time, I sat down and drew my daughter. I photographed the beauty of friends’ facial features, the skilled hands and lips of musicians, the graceful suppleness of yogis’ limbs, my favourite objects, found on the beach or on The Burren. I looked at the incredible landscape of West Clare and realised why my husband had travelled so far to be here, from the outback of Aboriginal Australia via the hustle of London, to a small stone cottage where he felt he could write.

Whilst drawing, I simmered with excitement, as the white paper sheets became populated by my favourite fossils, fruits, a wild flower, my children’s petite features ~ through my own small pencil strokes.

As I prepared to photograph an energetic yogi for her website, I was both nervous and excited. Like a child, trying something new and not knowing whether I could do it well.

A fossil pre-occupied me for days, its ancient form both hard as rock and soft as a small animal, as I replicated it with passion.fossil

Those moments while I drew, moments snatched from juggling childcare and a business, while I photographed, while my brain kept conjuring up unsolicited images still yet to be created by me, were the moments when I experienced a rare feeling of happiness.

Catharsis.

Endorphins set free.

Rediscovery of ancient skills.

When we create something, be it writing, visual art, a dance, poetry or music; we are experiencing the moment. We are not re-living and regretting our mistakes of yesterday or suffering the apprehension of tomorrow’s unknowns.

We are immersed in the magic of composition. This is why art is used so effectively to treat victims of trauma.

What we compose will exist, self-contained , its only purpose to evoke the feelings of others.  Yet the creative process itself is the most magnificently satisfying feeling.hand

The unsolicited ideas for images still flood my brain daily. Now I understand why he brought me here, to County Clare.

Mantrika by Rikki Shields

My Last Memory
The rain clouds, knew
The red sun, climbed
Out of the blue sea

The living wind
Pushed the clouds away
Slowly the wind carried me up
The rock, my rock, my freedom
She broke the chain, of darkness

My memories, children, moonbirds
And songs
All day I walked, talked
Only they knew

As the red sun, was sinking
Into the green hills
For the last time

My rock? She bared all
I knew the feeling
What I saw?

The spirit of the rock
The golden moonbird, Yolla
Yolla, I wept with joy
And understood, as the secret
Tears fell, she makes me
Do this journey, for me
My people, and our earth

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

36 comments on “The Wednesday Corner With Fycsene Shields

  1. the secret keeper
    August 28, 2013

    What a powerful description of finding a way through the pain of lose and how creative a path to discover what is within and around you. To find the spirit contained within not just the rock but all your transformations of everything around you into something magical and memorable. I am moved by your written words and the images you placed in my own mind and the ones you shared in your amazing drawings. Your poem touched me. It is so tender and moving. Thank you for sharing your experience, Fycsene Shields. And thank you Niamh, this is a great choice to re-open The Wednesday Corner With Fycsene Shields. A wonderful and an emotionally filled post. The tears of joy is a reassuring ending in the words of an artist being reborn. Love the experience of reading and viewing all and its powerful effects on ones emotions and thoughts. Thank you both, Jennifer

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      August 28, 2013

      Many thanks.Jennifer. It is lovely to have your comment here after my long absence. I think this is a very feminine post from Fycsene. And I am so glad she shared her heart with us.

      Like

      • the secret keeper
        August 28, 2013

        TY for your beautiful words, I feel honoured. Yes, it is a very feminine post. A great place for the feminine energy of renewal. What an amazing artist Fycsene is and how renewing she is to ones spirit. Her generosity of sharing her heart is so sensitive and moving. You made it all possible Niamh. I was so delighted to see you posted The Wednesday Corner. It is a Good and Great. Jennifer

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        August 28, 2013

        And so are you, Jennifer in your unfailing support and generosity.

        Like

  2. Jamie Dedes
    August 28, 2013

    Top to toe a beautiful post. Thank you both for bringing it to us. Indeed, creating art in whatever way its suits each of us is a healing process. It’s medititive. It is entering sacred space.

    Many blessings,
    Jamie

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      August 28, 2013

      Many thanks, Jamie. I am still looking forward to featuring you. I did send a message via FB, but I guess we must have missed each other.

      Like

      • Jamie Dedes
        August 28, 2013

        I haven’t seen it. I will double-check today. I’m not sure messages come up on my Facebook page; however, I know they do on my personal G Jamie Dedes.

        Also, I’ve been a bit tied up but have been wanting to ask youu if you would like to submit some work to
        http://intothebardo.wordpress.com/about/
        jamiededes@gmail.com

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        August 28, 2013

        I would love to. I will make sure that I sent the message to the right place.

        Like

      • Jamie Dedes
        August 28, 2013

        … and “thank you” … by the way. Where are my manners? 🙂

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        August 28, 2013

        LOL! You have them in abundance!

        Like

  3. Fycsene Shields
    August 28, 2013

    Niamh thank you so much for including me in your Wednesday Corner. I have been following it avidly and am proud to be included in such fine company!

    Like

  4. Fycsene Shields
    August 28, 2013

    Jennifer, thank you for reading this and for your kind and insightful comments ~ the poem was written by my late husband and describes his spiritual journey.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      August 28, 2013

      It is a beautiful journey.

      Like

    • the secret keeper
      August 29, 2013

      It is a beautiful poem your husband write. Brought tears to my eyes. I feel his depth of talent in this poem. I am sorry he is gone physically from this world. The pain of loss is deep for you. I do understand. TY for drawing my attention to what I missed when I read his poem. I reblogged the post to my blog before I read your comment. I will correct what I wrote on my reblog or do you also write poetry? It has been a good day meeting you and sad to hear of your loss. Life is a mixture and balance of emotions and moments changing so quickly sometimes. We try to adjust but it is difficult at times. Creating is a great way to find our way through. Jennifer

      Like

  5. Fycsene Shields
    August 28, 2013

    Jamie, thank you for your kind comments, it is indeed a meditation and a healing process ~ thank you xxx

    Like

  6. Imen Benyoub
    August 28, 2013

    Oh Wednesday corner is back..this time with you gorgeous Fycsene..!! what a journey..art is healing..because it is a sacred realm..filled only with light and when it touches you you feel reborn again..a very passionate, tender post and an excellent choice to re open the corner..drawings are so beautiful and poem is touching..bravo Fycsene c’est très émouvant j’adore..xx

    Like

  7. Patricia Tilton
    August 28, 2013

    A very inspiring post. I loved how Fycsene used her art to work through her grief. Beautiful journey of healing. Thank you for sharing Fycsene.

    Like

  8. Uncle Tree
    August 28, 2013

    Your husband knew you well, Fycsene.
    A fine tribute – mindfully spoken, and magically heartfelt.
    Creating does aid in our search for new meanings and stronger values.

    Nice to meet you! 🙂 Keep the faith! Peace and luvz, Keith

    Like

  9. the secret keeper
    August 29, 2013

    Reblogged this on the secret keeper and commented:
    Love the experience of reading the first post on the re-open of The Wednesday Corner. The artist is talented in many aspects from drawing to writing to poetry. The experience of reading and viewing what Fycsene Shields creatively offers had a powerful effect on my emotions and mind. Niamh Clune made a great choice to bring her to On the Plum Tree. Do take a trip over and experience the specialness of this post. Jk the secret keeper

    Like

  10. Pingback: The Wednesday Corner With Fycsene Shields | the secret keeper

  11. Pingback: The Wednesday Corner With Fycsene Shields | On The Plum Tree | BUTTERFLIES OF TIME

  12. thiskidreviewsbooks
    August 29, 2013

    I am glad your computer is all better Dr. Clune! Ms. Shields artwork is beautiful!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      August 29, 2013

      Yes! It is, indeed, Erik. I will tell her. She will be delighted.

      Like

  13. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing this on your blog!! I enjoyed meeting you yesterday ~ thanks you again for your kind comments

    Like

  14. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Erik, thank you very much ~ I cherish every moment I experience when creating art and I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks

    Like

  15. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Imen you are such a star and so inspiring! Thank you for enriching my world with your poetry! xxx

    Like

  16. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Keith ~ you are very perceptive in both points. He told me to travel to Ireland in my youth and he then brought me back here to live, as he knew it was the best place for our family, on so many levels. You are right as well about creativity, it brings you to a pure place that can so hard to find otherwise. A pure and deeper dimension, which can be found through enjoyment of the arts.

    Like

  17. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Patricia thank you so much for your comment. I still have a long way to go, but creating Art is what is giving me the strength. Meeting people like yourselves is inspiring and strengthening in itself xxxx

    Like

  18. a beautiful story of life and love and loss and life renewed – one that we are all privileged to have fyscene share with us – from my own experiences i, too, have found the process of creativity to a tool of recovery of renewal during times of chaos and loss – in the process of creating something – a poem a painting a photograph or whatever – we tap into that part of us – into the spirit of us – that is the only real place we live – and there, there, deep inside is where the calm remains there is where the oasis will always be – nurturing and guiding us no matter how long or tedious the journey – and fyscene so generously and beautifully shares that journey of hers with us – many thanks –

    Like

  19. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Butterflies, thank you so much for sharing this and for your encouragement! Your words of support will stay with me, for when I need them x

    Like

  20. and how wonderful to have you back ’round the plum tree, niamh! feels like comin’ home!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      August 29, 2013

      That is such a nice thing to say…For you, it is home. I hope to feature you here many times Jenean.

      Like

  21. Fycsene Shields
    August 29, 2013

    Thank you Jenean ~ you and I are, I think, on the same page 🙂

    Like

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This entry was posted on August 28, 2013 by in Guest Authors, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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