Who is on the plum tree?
“I just discovered author Niamh Clune and am very impressed with her brilliant writing. She’s also an excellent singer and has worked the UK circuits in the past. She’s an awesome woman and totally gifted in many areas. If you haven’t experienced reading her, please do so. I recommend her highly.” – Jessica Gilbert, publicist for artists in all fields, specializing in the music industry, founder of Talent Spotlight Magazine.
“The idea of giving the best you have to others, being all that you can be is the spiritual thread I have followed throughout my life. It has been my guide from earliest years up until the present day. This desire arose from having been a member of a large, Irish catholic family where children didn’t tend to receive much personal attention. I was never much good at demanding attention within the chaotic, market-place atmosphere of childhood where everyone clamoured for a few scraps. Often, only the loudest voices were heard, the most bullying or demanding, threatening, violent, or hysterical. My quiet, reasonable voice was lost amidst the general noise, fighting, and cries of “Look at me, look at me.”
I realised early on that I was in danger of becoming demanding or disappearing completely, as the deep-down sense of, I have no right to exist, became apparent. If a child does not receive what it needs, he or she remains unsatisfied, yearning, always in need of something out of reach.
My childhood was difficult to say the least. I witnessed, and was the victim of extreme domestic violence. As a child of two, I was aware of a choice. As I grew, the determination never to degenerate in nature as my father had done filled with me with fervency of belief and spiritual quest. Nor would I lose my soul to the bottle, killing myself slowly as my mother had done – my wits a mental blur, alienated from those who loved me. As a child, I was deeply sad. I watched the madness all about me and yet held to a vision of beauty that was innate within me. It was something of my own – a special world into which I could escape my father and the suffering of my mother. In that world, I could be a child filled with mystery and the magic of transformation. I could be special and unique.
In later years, my choice as an adult was to give to others what I could not have myself, whether it was a kind word or piece of recognition. I watched how others responded when I gave from my heart to theirs.
I have always tried to see a thing for what it really is – the truth of it, the beauty behind the clamour, the thing that unites us – whether passion, love, sadness or pain; it is the thing that speaks most deeply to our collective Humanity. Those earliest experiences and on-going learning processes shaped me into the person I am now.
The spirit of service is my only religion. I believe in striving to participate in the beauty of the day, even if we only manage to do this for a split second. In those moments, we re-connect to all that is good in us, to the beauty within that raises us above the general clamour, the noise, and the personal, sometimes egomaniacal sense of self-importance.
This spirit made me a healer, a Doctor of Psychotherapy, a social entrepreneur, an environmental campaigner. It took me to Africa during the nineties where I was fortunate enough to work for Oxfam, UNICEF, and World Food Programme. I lived among those who gave their all, and gave it with modesty. The spirit of service was the mucilage that held teams together and enabled us to open our hearts to the suffering of those much less fortunate than ourselves. We were fully alive with the fervent passion of it. I was happy then.
This spirit now makes me a writer. Unfortunately, a bout of malaria triggered Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Some days, I can hardly think or move. The pain in my joints renders me unable to walk. A deep sadness suffocates me and tries to steal my wits. It is a physical depression not generated by any thought I have, or by a denied unconscious. It is, quite simply, an autogenic body response over which, I have little control. Before I suffered it, I never realised how terrible is the illness of depression. Writing saves me. Through it, I find healing.
During a particularly bad time, I wrote my current Skyla McFee series. I found Orange Petals in a Storm by escaping back into the world of the little girl – pure in heart – who learns to overcome the harshness and cruelty that surrounds her through the miracle that is her creative imagination.
The imagination is a wonderful thing. Through it, I can still participate in the beauty of the world. I can still write my books without fetters or limitations. I can imagine all manner of beauteous things, dance with my soul, and feel the strength of my spirit. My love of writing, getting the passion onto a page, seeks the unique in a story where spirit triumphs against all the odds to express beauty in a world-gone-mad. I hope it is of some value and that Skyla shall say it all!”
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