WRITER and actor Michael Harding launched a unique book created by the artist and writer, Corina Duyn, at the Buddhist Centre in Allihies recently.
What makes it unique is that it is a book of loose leaves in a wooden box, and each sheet contains a short reflection on lives lived with a chronic illness or disability.
Michael Harding described ‘Into the Light’, and the pages that intermingle Corina’s art and photography with original lines and quotes from her favourite writers, as ‘inspired’.
As an artist with ME, Michael Harding said: ‘Corina is able to enter into spaces of unease and isolation’ and ‘to quarry deeper into the joy of being alive. ‘We are all human and it is natural to age and it is natural to die. Not being afraid of this is the liberation.’
Michael Harding has visited Dzogchen Beara before, when he was performing in Allihies. On the drive up the road to the Buddhist Centre, he said he heard the news that Seamus Heaney had passed away.
When he arrived at the centre, he went into the meditation garden, overlooking the sea, and spent some quiet moments ‘having a conversation’ with his old friend.
Michael Harding has written extensively about his own experience with depression and the healing balance he finds in meditation.
He linked Seamus Heaney’s final text to his wife (noli timere – do not be afraid) with Corina’s art and writing.
‘Corina’s voice,’ he said, ‘comes from rooms which we have not yet visited, though being human we must. It inspires us, telling us: “Do not be afraid”.’
Corina Duyn said the prayer flags at Dzogchen Beara provided her with the inspiration for the format for her book.
And she spoke of her delight at it being launched at the Care Centre – a place that offers breaks for people living with illness, or those simply wishing to rest.