{un} breaking broken

broken people can be thankful for the weirdest of things

for some people having feet that touch the ground as they walk is enough to be thankful for

it depends where your normal hangs its hat.

normal, that thing that when you know you aren’t and the situation you are in is not, you crave it

look at people passing you in the street with their perfect husbands, wives, children, parents

we look but we don’t really see

because we are broken

we don’t see the snide comment between spouses

we don’t see the glint in the eye

we don’t see the cowering child

we look and see what we want to see

we are so absorbed with the crises of our life, we see surface in others, we see what people want us to see

I have a friend who suffered horrific physical abuse as a child at the hands of her step father. She was always so open about her suffering. She survived. She speaks and teaches on child abuse. I heard her talk recently. She talked about wanting to be me, she wanted my parents, my life.

And I …

It all depends on your normal, where you hang your hat of normality.

blighted year {s}

It is Wednesday so http://thewritepractice.com/blight/



Guest post for me today at http://the3six5.posterous.com/

Something like this:

Suzie Gallagher/Irish living/God loving:writer/artist/independent woman/mother/daughter/wife/@pootlesuzie/ http://sukeymacki.posterous.com/


November 28th 2012

My diary said “study day,” the plan was to get up early and study all day until the assignment was complete, I might as well have put a neon sign over the house saying, “please ring!” I managed to surface for 7am and got an hour of reading done before the kids arrived, making breakfast, falling out, how can tying a tie start a war of gargantuan proportions. Peace descended as soon as they left and I was just opening my book again when caller number one rang. Did I want any jobs doing? I looked around my dishevelled home, and so wanted to say yes to the guy. My wishlist extends from painting inside and out to a central heating system that works, but my income does not allow for such frivolities so I merely said, “no,” and put the phone down in its cradle.

I couldn’t settle, books, schmooks!

How desperate was that guy, that he was cold calling his neighbours and friends in the hope of picking up a few crumbs of work.

Caller number two was friend from West Cork and we just talked and talked, did we learn anything? Did we become closer to God? Did we become closer friends? I was surprised to see the time on the clock suggest that lunch should be ready for my husband.

Ten minutes later, mushroom soup and potato farls ready to be dished up.

Caller number three broke my heart. When did compassion leave our nation? I was so frustrated by not being able to make it all better for this man. The only comfort I took was that he was talking about the future as we left the conversation.

The kids clattered and banged back into the house, my home full of discordant notes again, a dinner to be made, homework to be helped, wisdom (?) imparted. Normality chatters as the sun sets on a frosty cold day.

Another day of supposed study, wasted? No, those people and I needed to converse, to be human is to have relationships, to grow wiser as we age, to learn from each other, to share with each other and just to be … human

to post or not {to post}

I am a member of a discussion group, the premise of which is to help us in a course we are partaking. The course is delivered in the locality by tutors. Some of the people in the group know each other in reality but most only in the world of virtuality. It is odd how a bunch of people who have a common goal, that of passing the course get sidetracked by distractions.


Last year I took a sabbatical from the group because one person said something derogatory to me, again, only virtually not in the flesh, not in reality. In fact it wasn’t derogatory to me or maybe it was, the point is I got offended, I felt it was derogatory and I left for a while. It was childish of me to leave over something so petty and I only left for a short while.

The need for support as an isolated student drew me back in. I discovered I had learned heaps in the time away about confrontation and how to handle it. My thoughts were misconstrued by someone this week and a defamatory post was reeled off. I didn’t back away and leave the group, I explained my position, they apologised. I have had to apologise too for taking things the wrong way.

Too often on virtual sites we take umbrage, we take offense, we do wrong, we get angry, we feel self righteous, we feel in the right. Truth is we are all going to be right one day and wrong the next. We are all learning and we learn from each other. We are virtual pebbles being rubbed smooth by knocking into other virtual pebbles.

In reality, someone threatened to beat me up this week. That hurt me. In the virtual world we are safe to argue, safe to get offended, safe to reconcile. In reality that is not always the case. This week someone I know, had a bad day and I turned up all smiley shiny and new and it freaked them out so much they threatened to beat me up.

I used to fight, in another realm of reality I was a streetfighter, this person doesn’t know that, they saw Suzie Christian, blow on her and she falls down. My old self was offended that they didn’t think I could take them. What silly things our old selves come out with!

The point of this post is; in reality life can be dangerous for some people, people live in a world where in their families or wider circle people not only threaten but actually beat people up. People live in fear because of their reality so maybe sometimes in a virtual world they take offense because IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.

Dear Lord

For all those people living in fear, be with them today. To all those people hurt and offended be with them today. To all those in pain, physical or emotional or having a mental health few minutes be with them today. To all those who can’t face getting out of the bed this morning be with them today.

Lord the world needs you in it, we are a messy people who go around bumping into one another help us learn from our bumps, help us teach from our bumps.

Lord I especially pray for my would be attacker. He is in so much pain, he can’t express it except through violence or threat of violence. He needs so much love Lord, help me give it.


triangle {music} praise


Pythagoras lived a long time ago, born on a Greek island, Samos. That would have been enough for me: walking the beach, tilling the land, being with family and fishing for supper. But him, his daddy was a gem merchant so he got himself an education. One of his teachers, a woman called Themistoclea taught him ethics and he learned from various teachers, geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and a lovely study called “practical maxims for life”.

We have in our everyday scholastic language, Pythagoras’ theory which as we all remember is the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of  the squares on the opposite sides a2+b2=c2 in a right angled triangle. After school though there is not many of us that use the calculation.

One thing that Pythagoras noted was about music. Each note was interconnected, two strings of different lengths could be tuned to give a middle C and a high C. And just like other mathematicians used his theory to make their theories, so a few people in history have used his musical theories.

There was this guy Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius , in his lineage were Roman emperors, he was a philosopher who ended up executed for treason. During his life though he wrote four major works,

De consolatione philosophiae, De topicis differentiis, De arithmetica and De institutione musica. This last one – the formation of music touched on stuff that was not known, like little hints at something that had to wait another couple of hundred years to be discovered but he, Boethius described a system of harmonic ratios that united instrumental music, body and soul, and the workings of the heavens and the earth.

Every electron or subatomic particle of every atom of every molecule in this universe are made up of superstrings (which are toroidal vortices of energy). Superstrings are small (extremely tiny) donut shaped packages of energy that spin at a given frequency – or sing as in pitch. For those of you concerned with pitch and tone (not me obviously if you have heard me sing) this is awesome. Boethius had four types of music in his theory, musica mundana — music of the spheres/world, musica humana — the music of the internal human body or the harmony of human body and spiritual harmony, musica instrumentalis or musica quae in quibusdam constituta est instrumentis — sounds made by singers and instrumentalists or instrumental music and musica divina— music of the gods – for me this translates MUSIC OF GOD.

There is a youtube video manipulating these sounds to make a contrived performance of the ALL THE UNIVERSE PRAISING GOD TOGETHER. I believe that the universe does this but I don’t need a contrived performance. Listening to the wind whistle down a chimney, water rushing down a stream, birds singing, hearts beating and animals chatting. Boethius talked about the picture of sound, I talk about the sound of everything praising the Lord.

In other writings Boethius tackled, the trinity, Arianism and dissenting heretical forms of Christianity. He took Pythagoras’ musical theories and ran with them in conjunction with keeping within the bounds of his Christian faith. He took varying forms of dissent and mainstream discussion and honed them into valid Christian thought.

All the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives—stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:

“He is good;

    his love endures forever.”

Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud,  and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.

2 Chronicles 5:12-14

Below is his prayer:

Boethius’ Prayer.

‘Builder of yon starry dome,

Thou that whirlest, throned eternal,

Heaven’s swift globe, and, as they roam,

Guid’st the stars by laws supernal:

So in full-sphered splendour dight

Cynthia dims the lamps of night,

But unto the orb fraternal

Closer drawn, doth lose her light.

‘Who at fall of eventide,

Hesper, his cold radiance showeth,

Lucifer his beams doth hide,

Paling as the sun’s light groweth,

Brief, while winter’s frost holds sway,

By thy will the space of day;

Swift, when summer’s fervour gloweth,

Speed the hours of night away.

‘Thou dost rule the changing year:

When rude Boreas oppresses,

Fall the leaves; they reappear,

Wooed by Zephyr’s soft caresses.

Fields that Sirius burns deep grown

By Arcturus’ watch were sown:

Each the reign of law confesses,

Keeps the place that is his own.

‘Sovereign Ruler, Lord of all!

Can it be that Thou disdainest

Only man? ‘Gainst him, poor thrall,

Wanton Fortune plays her vainest.

Guilt’s deserved punishment

Falleth on the innocent;

High uplifted, the profanest

On the just their malice vent.

‘Virtue cowers in dark retreats,

Crime’s foul stain the righteous beareth,

Perjury and false deceits

Hurt not him the wrong who dareth;

But whene’er the wicked trust

In ill strength to work their lust,

Kings, whom nations’ awe declareth

Mighty, grovel in the dust.

‘Look, oh look upon this earth,

Thou who on law’s sure foundation

Framedst all! Have we no worth,

We poor men, of all creation?

Sore we toss on fortune’s tide;

Master, bid the waves subside!

And earth’s ways with consummation

Of Thy heaven’s order guide!’


Trains and planes and automobiles all move me towards a state of reflection and today was no different ; passing through Millstreet the fields and gardens along the track were a bit flooded. In Mallow again field upon field was flooded, diggers and earthmovers stranded in the water.


Flooding evokes two things in me, drowning and overflowing. My cup overflows. Someone was describing it as coming from the inside out the joy bubbling up inside, not unlike (but not as badly executed) my painting of a champagne rainbow on the wall of Gateway Church Kenmare. Yesterday in service I was doing the transition prayers in the praise time and I could hardly get my breath,  I had poured my out in the previous praise song and I was as out of breath as if I had run a half mile at pace.  It felt good, just like running, it felt good to be out of breath for my Lord. However, coherency is key in church,  because so easily we can say something that can be taken up wrong, or where we have mixed our words up (I am mostly in this category)  It all worked out okay and the praise was acceptable.

Drowning is a whole other story, or is it? You see a long time ago in a far and distant land to drowning incidents took place with me at the centre. In a swimming pool not a million miles from my home town  a man tried to drown me at the age of thirteen or fourteen, the age does not matter. The man does not matter, he was a ne’er do well, a fleeting visitor to my life and my mother’s heart. He still exists and still leeches off single mothers and their daughters.

Good drowning stories though, I like those. When I was eleven on the cusp of becoming a woman  (on paper and physiologically though technically, oh that’s for another time) I almost drowned in a cold North Sea near the holiday home.  I got this story so wrong for many years and really only now understand the significance and lost opportunity.

Elsa, Katya and I were swimming in the sea. Elsa was a nervous new swimmer (who would never swim again), Katya was a strong enough swimmer and I loved the water. My entire holiday was spent getting optimum swim time. Granda would drop me off often in Bamburgh and pick me up at This day we were at Monk’s Bay, The maiden Aunts were sitting in their foldable chairs, joined today by Elsa’s nervous mama. We raced down to the sea, spending some time in juvenile splashing, running in and out with the waves before wading out past the shelf and into the sea.

The same sea that Grace Darling and her daddy saved all those sailors one stormy night eons earlier. We swam in, the waves crashed down as they only could onto that beach. We were crushed, sucked under and released over and over. Elsa got scared  of the pull and drag of the undercurrents  and we put her up on the rocks. She was pinned to them her feet unable to walk over to the safety of the beach and her mum. After a few minutes Katya also decided that it was unsafe and I pulled her over to the rocks and pushed her up.

I remained, under the water when being pulled down and dragged along the bottom and out there was a peace. A massive silence. On the surface the world was noisy – I was being dragged and pulled into a life I didn’t want. I was a member of the Icthus Club at school, I skipped in my heart the 300+ kilometres from home to holiday home not for any other reason but United Beach Mission for two weeks. Two whole weeks when I could be myself. I had yet to have a personal relationship with Christ but I was moving in the right direction. I look back and see that. My Christian friends though, back then, just saw Susan Sinner. They didn’t sin. They were good people, good children, I was the bad penny, I was the one wanted to sit next to in case the sINNINg came upon them.


I watched these people and I tried to be like them. Amazingly when I was healed last year I stopped looking to others as to how to behave. I was given a freedom to be me, me surrendered and submitted to the Lord, total submission.

So I am never going to wear a hat in church and hoodies  are my chosen garment for thepulpit. My language is fresh and from the street(innit) and I will be with people that my childhood Christian friends would step over. To Pharisees I am Susan Sinner, to mature Christians I am Suzie Sinner. I am a sinner, I can’t help it. I aim for the perfection only found in Jesus but fall short.

And at the very first glimpse of God in all His glory, I messed it up, I got it so wrong. I was in the sea, I was drowning, my lungs were bursting, but there was peace, there was light, there was God in all His glory, with me in the sea. I got it wrong.

I was scooped out of the sea by rough strong hands and dragged up the rocks. I cried. I was crying because I wanted to go back, I wanted to be in the peace, in the silence. I knew stuff in the world was changing and I would no longer be able to keep duality. My circles were becoming more disparate and in one years time I would stand depressed and drunk before Granville the Christian and walk away. He would persist but I would be stubborn.

I spent the next thirty years trying to get to that peace again, to that silence, I thought I would only glimpse God by dying in this world. Oh I have learned so much. I have seen so much. So much is being revealed in bite sized pieces, one by one by God given one.

A really good friend of mine said not so long ago that she was so glad I had never actually attempted to kill myself because she felt I would succeed. Yes it made me grin, but I know what she means. As for drowning I am now drowning in a sea of love, drenched in love, my thirst quenched. Reflected in the flooded fields is the sky created by God. All of creation is drenched in love.



It was raining today and I was taking photos of puddles and drops of water falling off autumnally gold leaves whilst trying to keep my camera dry. I was imagining what it would be like if I had a prop guy to hold an umbrella and the foil mirror to shine the light on the subject and have all my lenses and cameras ready. A personal assistant. Smiling wrily to myself I readdressed myself to the issue of keeping camera dry until I had to leave as I could no longer see through my glasses.


It got me thinking:

a few weeks ago I was in a situation with my camera, that I put down someplace, not really thinking my actions through. I was busy, three or four different people were asking me stuff. telling me stuff and I had a job to do on top of that. The inequality of my situation being reflected in the lives of the people we were there for. 


It was pointed out to me that I should be careful with my possessions. I gave the standard retort I have given for many years: “If someone takes it, they need it more than me”

Today I revisited this as I trying to keep my camera dry. I had a “lightbulb” moment:


If everything belongs to God and we are merely stewards               to not look after the possessions is disrespectful to God.

I was being disrespectful to God by leaving possessions in places, not only that but I was encouraging a person to steal.

It is okay to give stuff and I encourage this at every opportunity in my home and outside in the environs. It is okay to give money away.


If we are not respectful of the property that we have been given stewardship over then we are not respectful of God.

We have been given dominion over the whole earth but that job looks too big for me to do. So I must look after what I have been given to look after. I must become a good steward of my camera as I learned to become a good steward of the Lord’s temple last year.

A relative of mine is a recovered “something” addiction, because of the addiction they had different ideas about what was an acceptable way of living in the world. They were not good stewards of themselves or their environment or their community. I am the relative that lived in that normal. That way of living was my normal for many years till I left the area.

Some years later I travelled with my family (husband and son) back to this normal. In one house I was told of a perambulator that was stolen, in another house I was shown the same item. The two stories – one of loss and disbelief and the other of adventure and wonderment.

My normal was changing, theirs was not. Many years later their normal has not changed. The stories of chance encounters with other peoples’ items are still the same. The small print might be different, but the chancing, the adventure, the buzz are the same.

I have become a steward no longer neglecting, no longer destructing within or without, no longer squandering but fully committed to the stewardship of this vessel and the vessels around me and in whatever small way I can make a difference in the Big Picture


places and spaces

So y’all know I am in a small congregation and some of you share that congregation with me. We are people in common. We are sisters and brothers united in Christ. We are family. 


We are not picture postcard family, if someone took our picture at that moment some of us would be struggling, some of us would be soaring, some of us would be in between and some of us would not be there.

When we “do” church it is important to go. To “be” in church, to be there for ourselves but also for others. But not ever forgetting why we are there in the first place, to worship our God, to bring our praise to him, to pray, sing and listen, to hear words of wisdom from God through the channel that is the preacher. 

This morning our numbers were depleted because of a bunch of beautiful people took themselves away from the world and spent the weeking being with Lord. Thet sat at the feet of Jesus and walked with the Lord closely. While they did church together on retreat, the rest of our congregation came together and did church more traditionally.

I am so thank FULL for this morning, there was confirmation, there was giving, there was fellowship. There was peace, there was assurance of hope, there was the “Wizard of Oz”. The retreaters could not click their ruby slippers together three times to be home, they needed cars and driving skill. But they got the other stuff – peace, hope, confirmation, giving and lots and lots of fellowship.

We are church without walls, we are not a building, we are a people of God, who despite differences in how we got here, come together in community and fellowship and unity. 

I love chuch

I love the people

I love church and people and people who DO church and people who BE church

and all the things in between;


Lord, thank you for church, thank you for people, thank YOU for everything, amen