Do you remember that moment on the night of March 21st 2020, when our Taoiseach announced that Ireland was going into a full lockdown? After midnight we were instructed to stay home and not to venture further than 2km for exercise and grocery shopping.
Our lives changed dramatically in that moment. I moved house that night to be with my partner and his children. We did not know how long this restriction would remain in place. There were (and still are) many unknowns about this new coronavirus.
Overnight, an unusual silence descended upon our towns, villages and cities. Photographer Rob O'Connor took to the streets of Cork to capture those moments through his lens and this sparked an idea for colloborattive project called The Silence.
I am one of the 45 artists who was contacted by Art In Many Forms curator Pat O'Carroll, who asked me to contribute my reflections on what had happened. It was envisaged that our thoughts would accompany the photography of Rob O'Connor to tell a story of our collective experience.
You can read more about Pat O'Carroll and The Silence as featured in The Argus Regional Journal of The Independent. Pat hopes that "the entire project will be brought to life in 2021, with actors reading the words which have been contributed to a backdrop of images by Rob O'Connor who has inspired The Silence."
My contribution to The Silence is a poem entitled 'Stay In' and I share it with you now in the hope that it has some meaning for you at this point in time. We have come through so much as a nation with a common goal of keeping each other safe and it has required a lot of effort and sacrifice.
Without further ado I present to you my poem.