Olea Corcoran

The world has many edges, and it's easy to fall off.


Strange stars of the North,

Do you know how this feels?

I have become untethered from myself, and I feel my hope fading and my certainty floating away. I can catch glimpses of who I was, when I knew, but nothing that holds.

As you move across our sky, do you miss the cities and fields you once presided over? Do you lose your place as the Earth shifts under you?

I know that we must all encounter our dark night of the soul. There's no use in trying to avoid it or turn it away. The Earth will turn, and shake itself free from the stars of today, no matter their hopes or wishes.

So, I will surrender. I don't know, and I won't pretend to know. This is what not-knowing feels like. I'll sit with this for a while, and observe. The light of stars is not like the light of a fire. It is further and colder, I have less power over it, but it is more constant and steady. Stay with me, be my guide, until I find the means to start a fire again.

If I could once feel to sing the song of redeeming love, will I again? Before the stars return to their same positions in our night sky?

We shall see, together.



Whoah, suitcases,

Can you believe it's been a year?

Filled with journeys and sightseeing and rambling and wandering. Planes, trains and automobiles. And a few boats, too.

And now you're packed up in a new closet, your contents emptied again (and again).

I do so love to pack up all my clothes and books and journals, my sewing things and my camera, and head off on a new adventure. But even more, I like to arrive at a new home, and arrange everything just as I like it. To have a soft, comfortable bed to rest in. A desk to neatly organise my things. A space to call my own.

Don't worry, I'll bring you all out again. One day. Not too soon. 



My dear new bed
 (c/o my new room),

I'm glad for this resting place. Soft and comforting, steady and warm.

Don't you think it's wonderful, the way the light fills the room in the mornings? The leaves on the vine climbing down one window, bright autumn yellows and deep reds among the green, softening and filtering the sun's rays? I do.

I love to wake, as slowly (but surely) as the sun. I take a moment to appreciate my surroundings, belongings, emotions, thoughts. I slowly open my eyes and gently awake to myself, and prepare for the day ahead.

Thank you for helping me to have a solid foundation, so I can rise and shine each day. 




Oh, little baby.

Your open-mouthed "kisses" while I sing to you, your humming as you drift off to sleep. They tell me you feel happy and safe and loved.

They make my heart grow and my soul swell. I feel blessed to be part of your happiness.

And I hope I can feel more often how you do now.



To the Circle line train to High Street Kensington,

I feel like you understand the balance between permanence and transience. Constantly on the move, but always the same path.

There will be more flowers, but there will never again be this flower.

There will be sun shining on my face, but it will not be this sun.

My heart will be full again, but it will be different.

And so I feel this fullness enveloping me, and delight in it.

And I share this moment with you, visiting these stops, that will not be the same the next time you pass, and marvel at the profound hiding in the mundane.

I wonder who else notices it.



Hello little poppies,

It's so lovely to see you, swaying gently in the breeze, up on the bank of the little stream where last week there was only an empty ditch.

Your cheery vibrant red-ness surprised me, I didn't think I would find beauty here. There is such a small space for anything green to grow, surrounded by roads and stones as you are, it seemed unfair to expect more than a few stray dandelions. Even the daisies haven't made it this far.

I must confess, I briefly thought of picking all of you to fill my washed-clean jam jar and bring your cheer to my little house. But I quickly realised I couldn't do that without taking away everyone else's chance to be delighted by you, as I am.

So I will smile all the more when I walk past, and wonder who noticed you today.

I did.



My little house,

I know you don't have a strong tether to the ground, just a few short stilts connect you. And I know that when the winds come sweeping around and under, that you feel so very made-of-plastic. Which you are. And I can feel you shaking, even though I'm tucked up in bed.

But do not worry, if we are carried off in a sudden gust, perhaps it will do some good - think of the heroic little house that landed on the wicked witch in Oz. Or maybe we could go on an adventure, like that brave little house that went to Paradise Falls, Venezuela.

It'll be okay.

Even if we are snatched by a tempest, we will be okay again. My anchor is strong enough for the both of us.



Dear tomorrow's weather,

The last two days, it's been raining. And I don't really like the rain. It makes me sad. I want it to be sunny tomorrow. The weather affects my mood so much, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Do I pray for you to change? I feel like that's selfish, and not something that I have control over anyway.

Do I pray for my heart to be less affected? I like to be connected to the world around me, and I feel like letting go of that would reduce how much joy I get from the times the sun is shining.

Do I just accept the sadness? I prefer to be happy, but sometimes, it's okay to be sad.

Could you at least send me a rainbow?



To the mountains in the distance,

Do you ever get nervous when you see the stormclouds approaching? Do you remember the last time you had to bear snow, and tremble?

When the spring winds blow through your valleys, do they sigh with relief? Or do they sing a song of longing for the days that are now past, until the summer heat is gone and autumn fades once more?

Or are you so firm and settled that the seasons linger or rush past, seen but not studied, marked but not minded?

I am not as steadfast as a mountain, and the seasons touch and move me. The winds blow me about, the sun warms my skin, the snow reaches its cold fingers deep inside. Sometimes it's overwhelming, but I like to let these things affect me. I hope that even though you're very large and very old, they still touch and move you too.



Dear little bridge,

I like to watch the Seine, standing safely here. The waters, swirling, pushed by the boats and pulled by the currents. The waves, crashing onto the bank, only to recede back into the swell and come crashing again. The whole river, affected by individual events and internal forces, constantly changing yet ever the same.

And here I stand, safely in place, watching from a wider perspective, and I can appreciate the beauty of the dance. For a moment, I can stand apart from the individual events and internal forces of my own life, see it for the dance it is, and appreciate that beauty too.

What a lucky little bridge, to always have this perspective.



Dear Sunshine,

Snow for two days, then you came out to play for a week; it's probably time for rain.

It's cool and dark before you rise, the rain seems fitting. I open my umbrella and set off on my journey, the reflection of the street lights playing with the shadows they cast on the wet ground.

The rain quickens its pace, the wind rushes, and so do I, counting my steps against the steady rhythm of the raindrops falling.

I step into a puddle and surprise myself with a splash. It reminds me to smile, and enjoy all that the moment has to offer.

I'll be well on my way by the time you rise. Won't you come join me?



Dear Airbus,

My favourite part is the takeoff, the plane running faster and faster until it lifts into the sky. Its speed matches my excitement, slowly building until we're lifted off the ground and we are flying.

I know how you feel, in that moment. Everything you've been doing in the recent past has all been with the aim of getting into the air, but right now you have to fully commit, or it'll all end in disaster. And it's scary, because you have to be sure you've prepared completely, now it is time for action, but it's easy for doubt to creep in.

Underneath that doubt, though, is a layer of calm. You can do this. You've done this a hundred times before. This is exactly where you want to be right now, where you should be.

And then, as the wheels let go of the runway with a gentle kiss, and retract back into the plane, there is only joy that comes from satisfaction and anticipation.

I know exactly how you feel.



Dear Strawberries,

I love you. I could eat you every hour. With vanilla bean and elderberry ice cream, that has an ever-so-slightly-floral taste. With melted chocolate. With both or neither. With gritty sugar to play against your juicy tartness. With smashed meringues and sweetened whipped cream.

My favourite, though, is when you're warm and freshly picked, like you've taken in the essence of sunlight for me to savour.

Get in my belly.