Visions & Dreams : Quotations

Quotations and published works  -  Email your visions and dreams - email@TaraCelebrations.org

A Parable of Immortality

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, ” There she goes! ”


Gone where?

Gone from my sight . . . that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment
when someone at my side says, ” There she goes! ”

there are other eyes watching her coming . . .

and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .


” Here she comes! ”


Henry Van Dyke






In Tara's Halls - W.B.Yeats


William Butler Yeats

A man I praise that once in Tara's Halls
Said to the woman on his knees, 'Lie still.
My hundredth year is at an end. I think
That something is about to happen, I think
That the adventure of old age begins.
To many women I have said, "Lie still,"
And given everything a woman needs,
A roof, good clothes, passion, love perhaps,
But never asked for love; should I ask that,
I shall be old indeed.'

Thereon the king
Went to the Sacred House and stood between
The golden plough and harrow and spoke aloud
That all attendants and the casual crowd might hear.
'God I have loved, but should I ask return
Of God or woman, the time were come to die.'

He bade, his hundred and first year at end,
Diggers and carpenters make grave and coffin;
Saw that the grave was deep, the coffin sound,
Summoned the generations of his house,
Lay in the coffin, stopped his breath and died.




Crisis - Ita O'Donovan

Ita was born in Cork but now lives in Clifden where she has been a member of Clifden Writers for some time.  Her poetry has been published in a nunber of magazines and anthologies. She broadcasts stories on Connemara Community Radio.


Ancient traditions hold
that earth is sung into being,
each single thing
and there’s a naming.

Yet each singer was unique
and each time
added something new
to the old and the true.

So came sound
and before the word written
came remembrance
and its boundaries.

Without the singing of a country,
what is held is lost.
When that happens
it must be sung back,

Remembrance needed repetition
so the singing could travel,
pass from one to the other
like sean-nós.

grandparent to child,
child to grandchild.
Search now for the tuning fork
then listen, listen.

Search in the unnamed
and the sacred places.
Search quickly.





In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, We lit the light of hope, And it was not extinguished, In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision, We planted the tree of valour,
And it blossomed. In the winter of bondage we saw a vision, We melted the snow of lethargy, And the river of resurrection flowed from it. We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river, The vision became a reality, Winter became summer, Bondage became freedom, And this we left to you as your inheritance. O generation of freedom remember us,
The generation of the vision.


The Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square is dedicated to all those who gave their lives to the cause of Irish Freedom. It was formally opened in 1966, the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising.


Song of Amergin

I am a stag: of seven points,

I am a flood: across a plain,

I am a wind: on a deep lake,

I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,

I am a hawk: above the cliff,

I am a thorn: beneath the nail,

I am a wonder: among flowers,

I am a wizard: who but I

Sets the cool head aflame with smoke?


I am a spear: that roars for blood,

I am a salmon: in a pool,

I am a lure: from paradise,

I am a hill: where poets walk,

I am a boar: ruthless and red,

I am a breaker: threatening doom,

I am a tide: that drags to death,

I am an infant: who but I

Peeps from the unhewn dolmen, arch?

I am the womb: of every holt,

I am the blaze: on every hill,

I am the queen: of every hive,

I am the shield: for every head,

I am the tomb: of every hope.


copper coast 2


There are many versions of the above incantation. It is reputedly the first poem written in Ireland by Amergin whose name means song incarnate "Amhairghin" and seems to be written in Druidic riddle which may refer to phases of the moon and the tree calendar amongst other things. It is a song of  Irish sovereignty.

Bernadette shares this poem

Give me a light and I will find my way home,

Give me a chance to travel this road.

If I should stop and rest, it's for the best

I need my energy to go along on this quest.

The light that you give me is the light of my life

If you take it away I'm lost in the night.

So if you look real hard into my soul

And you see a light burning, you will see I am home.

Chief Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux says....

You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and everything tries to be round.  The sky is round, and i have heard the Earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars.  The wind, in its greatest power whirls.  Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.  Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were.  The life of  a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so is everything where power moves.

Thanks to Betty Joe Harper for sharing this at Samhain 2009 gathering at Dowth.

Insight from Inca Q'ero

Thanks for Anne for sharing the next two quotes:

If you talk to the animals they will talk with you - and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them you will not know them,  and what you do not know you will fear.  What one fears one destroys.

Follow your own footsteps
Learn from the rivers
The trees and the rocks.
Honour the Christ,
The Buddha,
Your brothers and sisters.
Honour your Earth Mother
and the Great Spirit.

 Honour yourself and
all of creation.
Look with the eyes
of your soul and
engage the essential.


 Dolores sent these two:

THINK ABOUT THIS:  The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. -Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)


Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence  and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

(Advertisement for Apple Computer,  adapted from the writings of Jack Kerouac)


Plough over Navan




Our land has fallen from her age of pride
And put her old divinity aside;
She is not now as in those storied days
When a strange beauty lit familiar ways,
When all the vivid life of hill and plain -
The reedy curraghs curtained with bright rain,
Rich lowland pastures where thick sunlight lies,
Deep-bosomed hills embracing cloudy skies,
Dark cliffs laced with spray of furious waves,
And quiet waters lapping in long caves -
All these but veiled a more enchanting land
Alight in every stone and grain of sand
With that still radiance the spirit knows
When the clear fire of life unbounded glows
Through all the visible world; when forgotten Powers
Cast ancient dreams forth from their hidden towers,
Till memories of the high ancestral race
Burned secretly in every lonely place.

In those far days our racial life was part
Of the wild, infinite life in the earth's heart;
The stars were friendly to us, and the sea
Taught us its song of fathomless ecstasy -
All things were kin to us, and to our shore
The sea-folk and the fairies brought their store.
But now the Iron Age has us in its thrall,
The last pale gleams of wonder flick and fall;
Our dreams have faltered into weariness,
And all the land is dark and visionless,
No more our race is vigorous and gay,
Its old vitality has ebbed away;
We have forgotten our proud liberty,
And how our Isle was lit in mystery -
We have sold beauty for a worthless thing,
And killed the bird of joy upon the wing.
So deadened are we that we heed no more
How waves cry ceaselessly along the shore,
How sunsets flame and die over dark hills,
Or shadowy trees lean where swift water spills -
We turn away from these to coarser lights,
And fill with feverish toil our days and nights;
We hear no more the old, lonely voices cry:
Our soul is sick and blind: surely we die?

Yet is our land secretly proud and free,
Inviolate in timeless mystery;
No alien clamour breaks her inward peace,
And her strong spirit shall not fail nor cease.
The restless tides of being ebb and flow,
The changing races come and mix and go -
Unchanged the radiance in her being hides,
The ancient wonder lurks within her tides,
Her steadfast rocks remain a sanctuary,
Her hills are gateways to infinity.

We and all men are passing out of sight
Into the Dark that is the spring of light;
And when the time is full our island brood
Shall join the immortal shadowless multitude
Of vanished races dwelling within the earth,
Or under the sea, or where the winds have birth.
Then shall our Isle be known to us once more
Sacred and full of wonder as before:
The opening hills shall glow with hidden fire,
The swinging stars shall be a joyous choir,
The winds shall bring us in their shining net
Where the heroic age is living yet.
And here, when the unborn races enter in,
They shall be haunted too, by invisible kin:
Their growing consciousness shall take the mould
Of dreams innumerable that lived of old
In the glad hearts of the immortal Powers
Who fashioned Sun and Moon and the silver Hours -
Dreams that spring forth to breed in race on race
A spirit of unimaginable grace,
A fragment of eternal beauty caught
Beyond the darkling bounds of life and thought.

Always this ancient land shall be a shrine
Wherein her children touch the life divine
And wed their dreams to everlasting dreams
Till they are caught into those fiery streams
Wherein all races vanish, swept afar
To the dark depths where life's last secrets are.

(souce: 'The Secret Island' Poems and Plays in verse by Mona Douglas)


The Earth

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe.

He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from
as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it.

He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon
it.  He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of noon and
all the colors of the dawn and dusk.

For we are held by more than the force of gravity to the earth.  It is the entity from which we are sprung, and that into which
we are dissolved in time. The blood of the whole human race is invested in it. We are moored there, rooted as surely, as
deeply as are the ancient redwoods and bristlecones.

Welcome To Holland  by Emily Perl Kingsley

This poem was read brilliantly by a mother with a special needs son at one of our open Heart meditations. ........................

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.


It’s just a different place.  It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.


But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."


And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever  go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.


But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

According to Wikipidia: Emily Perl Kingsley is a writer who joined the Sesame Street team in 1970 and has been writing for the show ever since.

Her son Jason Kingsley was born with Down Syndrome in 1974. At the time of his birth, it was commonly believed that children with Down Syndrome could never learn to walk or talk. Kingsley's work as a writer and activist for children with special needs helped change this perception. Her experiences with Jason inspired her to include people with disabilities into the Sesame Street cast, including an actress who uses a wheelchair, Tarah Schaeffer, and even Jason himself. Jason's story was the topic of an hour-long NBC television special in 1977, titled "This Is My Son," and with co-author Mitchell Levitz, Jason wrote the book "Count Us In: Growing Up With Down Syndrome."

In 1987 Kingsley wrote "Welcome to Holland," a widely published and translated piece which compares the experience of raising a child with special needs with traveling to Holland. The same year a made for television movie she wrote "Kids Like These," premiered on CBS-TV. The film, about a middle-aged couple who have a son with Down Syndrome, won numerous awards.

Kingsley has written over 20 children's books and two Sesame Street home video releases (Elmo Learns to Share and Elmo Says Boo!). She writes for other companies as well, and recently contributed to two Disney Interactive CD-ROMS.

She has won 12 Daytime Emmys and 9 nominations through her work with Sesame Street, three EDIs and a Grand EDI from Easter Seals, and an award from the National Theatre of the Deaf.


Page last updated: 23rd Sep 2017