Category Archives: Philosophy of life

Reality, religion, ‘proof’ and so on

I came across this piece which I wrote on a blogsite some time ago …

A lot of the online argument in this general area tends to be sterile and futile, largely (in my opinion) because of the aggression with which certain people try to slap down anything that’s ‘unscientific’. Personally, I have no religious or quasi-religious belief that I try to convince anyone else of. In fact, I have no strong belief of this sort at all, and no interest in trying to undermine or ridicule the beliefs of others.

As I see it, reality exists irrespective of our beliefs about it. Our senses and our minds are limited, and probably not fit for the purpose of understanding everything. Science can reveal a lot, but it cannot fully reveal reality because it is an aspect of our limited minds and is therefore limited, whereas reality is not. Science is like a torch … useful for finding our way round a cave; useless when we step out into the sunlight. Continue reading


Filed under Philosophy of life, Psychology, Religion

Solid Gold


This is a new song that I have written. To listen, please click here:


In times that I look back upon
I see the golden light that shone
But that you would soon be gone
There was no way of knowing

If I had the choice of things to do
With anybody that I knew
I would like to sit with you
And watch the water flowing

But the river bends
And our absent friends
Have moved on out of sight
Into the gentle night

When our yearning blends
With words the spirit sends
The song we sing for them
Is not a requiem
The love we hold
Is solid gold

When our hearts are open wide
Connection cannot be denied
Love will bridge the great divide
And break the chains that bind us

In this world of flesh and bone
We all will reap what has been sown
When we roll away the stone
That’s hiding what’s inside us

You and I are one
Beneath the moon and sun
Just like those olden days
Seen through a golden haze

In the market of
Our pure undying love
The things we sacrifice
Will go to pay the price
What’s bought and sold
We have been told
Is solid gold


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life


If you are visiting my blog because of RTE’s Nationwide programme, you are very welcome, and I hope you will like it.

I started this blog in May 2010, and at first wrote about miscellaneous things that interested me. Since Sean died of SADS on 17 October 2010, the blog has mostly been about him. If you wish, you can click on the links under the ‘Archives’ heading to the right to see what I was writing in any given month.

Details of my novel Larris & Me are given HERE.

I have written around 23 songs since Sean died (having never written any before). Three of these have been recorded with good-quality equipment and are on YouTube:

Sean and Clio in the Snow
Beating Heart
Come Back and See Me

The rest I recorded on a small Dictaphone-type device, sometimes with Pauline singing too. They are as follows (please click on a title to visit the post, and follow the link to listen):

Running in the Dark
Do You Hear Me When I Speak?
Pink and Gold
The Well
July to September
Nothing But Love
One Way
The Road
All Because of You
Devil’s Bit
Hey Sean
The Heat of Love
No Way of Knowing
Lament for Sean O’Brien
7021 Days
Gone Away
Love Remains
Losing You
Love You and I Always Will

Thank you for your interest! It is much appreciated. Please feel free to leave a comment if you wish (first you may need to click on ‘Nationwide’ at the very top of this post).


Filed under Blogging, Death, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life

On eagle’s wings

I remember the day the photograph was taken … Sean told me that he and some of his friends had been touring around aimlessly in a car – I think Conor was driving. They saw some wind turbines on a hill in the distance, and decided to drive to them. Accomplishing this was an adventure in itself, and they had a fun day.

At Garry’s funeral today we spoke to Conor and the other friends that would have been with Sean that day, as well as Clio. It was strange to see them in the setting of a funeral again. I hope that this will not be repeated any time soon, and that we’ll be seeing them in happier circumstances.

Last night in a vivid dream I was walking down a slope in some unknown city, with the sea straight ahead; the sun was shining brightly. I was thinking about Sean and Garry, and wondering about the meaning of life and whether I had learned anything in my 51 years. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life

The Road

This is song number 18. To listen to it, please click here: The Road


Here we go
Making our way down the road
Fast or slow
Reaping whatever we sowed

Day or night
Following those that have gone
Out of sight
We’ll catch up with them before long Continue reading


Filed under Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life


This is my latest song for Sean. To listen to it, please click here: Bridges2


I walk the room and I walk the road
I have companions to share the load
They’ll be with me to the end
But someone’s missing … it’s you, my friend

The table‘s laid and the food is served
We sit and eat without saying a word
One place is empty, one voice is gone
We no longer hear your opinion

All the bridges falling down
All the bridges falling down
How will we get around
With all the bridges falling down? Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music, Philosophy of life

Sean …

'Good times' was Sean's comment on this pic

You’re missing the Magners League final this weekend, and the Champions League final … but maybe you’d have gone to the Kings of Leon in Slane … some of your friends are going, and they wish you were too … I know what a great time you had when you saw them at Oxegen, and you texted your mum to say you could die happy … I found our old Because of the Times CD the other day … great to hear it again; it was like you were in the car beside me … also some of your old compilations … amused to find ‘The Big Strong Man’ along with serious stuff … I remember when we used to shout it out on car journeys when you and Susi were small.

We found an essay you wrote on Othello as well … we remember how much you enjoyed Othello. Your teacher wrote ‘Lovely opening’ and ‘Style of writing is very impressive and you make many many great points’. You were always very good at anything you liked. You were so talented. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life

Sean lived. Sean died.

Two words are never far from our minds. They are the first thought in the morning and the last thought at night, and they present themselves many times in the course of the day.

Those two words are – Sean died. They still come as a shock, as a hurt, every time. There is still some disbelief.

Two words make up a complementary phrase – Sean lived. He could not have died if he had never lived.

Sean lived not just in the sense of being alive. Sean really, really lived. He had a hunger for life. He loved life, and other people.

Sean lived well.


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life

Four months

It is four months today since Sean died. It also happens to be his mother’s birthday (last year on her birthday card he wrote: ‘Happy B-day Mam. Hope you have a great day and a great year. I really do appreciate everything you have done, and continue to do for me. I love you as much as a son could love his mother. Sean. PS. Sorry about the horrible card.’)

What would Sean be doing now if he hadn’t died? Well, he would probably still be here living with us, although it’s possible that he and Clio would have got a place of their own. He would have been trying to get work, and might have been working in a bar, for example. He had been offered a place at Dublin City University for next year, and wanted to save money to fund it. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life

Words Cannot

I put a tune to a poem I posted here before … just half a minute long. It’s for Sean, of course.

Words Cannot

The poem is here.


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Music, Philosophy of life, Poems