Today is the 2nd year anniversary of part 2 of my life in Paris. I moved here on July 17th 2015. I first moved here form Dublin when I was 22. At that point I knew as little about anyone in this city or the city itself as I did about myself. Two years later London called and I packed a few bags and moved. When Amsterdam called 6 years after that, the bags had become boxes and the identity of who I was, a little clearer. I’d already learned that you can’t hold on to everything, regardless of how hard you try. And then, almost 10 years later, I returned to the city that first captured my imagination and carved so much of itself into the lines now more visible on my features that I could barely distinguish the lines of the city and the lines of the self. Needless to say, the bags were bigger this time and I don’t just mean the ones under my eyes. From 22 to a month away from 42, all now visible in the partially filled boxes around my feet. Somewhere within these collections, are hints at who I am on route to becoming, I guess…
Back to the boxes; finding things forgotten
in seams not yet sealed and finding no room
for other things since stuck with too much tape
that I cannot take any longer in this movement
along another midway, a mild change of track
through to midlife, making home at another station
amid the mayhem of the moment, making room
to make more moments that will momentarily
fill more boxes when another move meanders
my way. We are made of movements from major
to minor and back again; I am right, he has left,
she is nowhere and everywhere and not everyone
understands, they’ve turned back, I’ve carried on,
I can hold happy alongside these boxes; bruised
and battered but far from broken, I can hold it all,
I will hold all that has been left. Back to the boxes;
to the treasures I’ve taken to be true and the truths
that have lead me to the lies I’ve cast to the curbs
I have crawled over and then crossed off. I cannot
carefully wrap each and every delightfully deceptive
distraction that comes a calling, whether correctly
considered or coldly comfortless, I too was created
be cared for, I too need room to be made for me
without the waste of words, do I not deserve a space
to call my space within all space, within all this
fleeting space we are speeding through?
My next bed will spring from my liking as I plaster
my own skin with my own desires. I desire to be
distracted by dreams not too distant. I will not
be packed in a box like these belongings;
longing to be lifted to the light. I am too fond
of freedom to wait for life to find me. I am moving,
with boxes on my back and cartons crammed
into the cracks of my consciousness. I will not wait
for life to come to me; this is me, see me, overtaking it.
All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly
Audio version available on Soundcloud:
8 thoughts on “OVERTAKING”
Happy 2nd year anniversary of being back in Paris Dami! WOW – amazing that on this anniversary you’re taking up residence in a new abode! Best wishes for this newest phase in your life!
Happy 2nd Paris-Anniversary, dear Dami!
May you new home become the sacred outer pendant to your inner space of spaces and may love, peace, happiness and joy accompany your leadership in life.
I love the poem you shared and enjoyed very much to hear your voice, again.
It particularly speaks to my heart as I will be 42 in October this year, too, and although I am not moving appartements at the moment a lot of things are moving on the inside, making space for me being me.
Much love and big hugs 🌹,
This is so good to hear! It can be the most difficult thing in life to make space for ourselves but often the most important thing to learn!
I wish you love and luck too 🌻🤗
Happy Anniversary Dami! Best of luck to you in the glorious unknown that lies ahead. Thank you for letting us in, to the changes that have happened and those yet to take hold. Cheers!
Thank you Paula! I seem to be a feather on the winds of change! One day I might be heavier and stay put longer! Big hugs 🤗
This one really resonates–how where we have lived marks and changes us, and how the 40s is such a time for self-examination, acceptance, but also restlessness…
I am glad it resonates. Change is a part of all our lives although in early youth it seems like an adventure, often unquestioned; we pack, we move, we rebuild… later on, there is so much more to question. What do we take and why are we taking it. And can we let it go? And if we let it go, what is left in its place?
“Becoming”–always, a never-ending process. Yes, and baggage too! (K)