Just a thought. A notion by its very description doesn't carry much weight. So it's fair to conclude from press reports on the wrong-doings, in the mother and child homes, in the Irish Republic that Christian morality, since the inception of the state, was just considered a notion. When one considers the enormous space that the loss of these children have left in our lives, when one considers if allowed to live normal lives what they might have become, the gifts that they might have brought to community and state just by being allowed to be who they were. When one considers the enormous space that our own children occupy in our lives! If the moral situation involves voluntary activity then there were few citizens, community, or political leaders who were prepared to wear its mantle, who were prepared to take a stand in a country where women were considered second class persons. Was it a country where citizens choose to fear a man-made God, as they choose to ignore the loving aspect of the spiritual God that they praised each Sunday! I wouldn't have thought so, for while growing up in the Irish Midlands in the '60s I remember mostly kindness and care from family, relatives, friends, neighbours and teachers who took care of their own. And yet it's there, festering in the heart of the nation as we approach a centenary celebration. And from my memories of a happy childhood, I can only assume that the path that the Irish Catholic State and its citizens trod diverged at some point, either that, or they were never in step. But resentment grows. Doesn't it! It grows in hearts and minds and people wait. It was the '80s before Irish women, the second class person, said: No more, and they started to walk away from marriages, from abusive relationships, and that was the start of it. It was the '90s when the priest's and bishop's brides made an appearance, and soon after men and women came forward with the abuse stories and they continue. As we prepare to publish our issue, I read that the much anticipated Garth Brook's Concerts may be cancelled. I note the headlines: Our international reputations is in shreds ... and I wonder to what it pertains. Anyway, we have free will. Thankfully. Freedom to choose our leaders — we are gonna have to become particular. Freedom to acquaint ourselves with other cultures, and to stroke these with our own cultural flavours and tastes. To blend and compare; leave aside what we don't want and hook onto the good stuff. Of course there are filters to be worked around, social ones that we may not recognise and they present a challenge. For to overcome them we need to understand whose building them and what their motivations are in a social, political, economical and religious field. Of course a hint to their motivation is to consider who wants our money and what they're prepared to do to relieve us of it, for it's only the 'stuff' that you carry within your heart and mind that's free; all the externals come at a cost. And then we all have our own filters; those that we use for protection against the vagaries of the weather as we step through our day to day life. And life is wonderful! This celebration of the body and soul, both indivudal and collective. # Our poetry editor, Nonnie Augustine, resigned last quarter. She was one of our founding editors and I'd like to thank her for her time and efforts over the last seven years. She tells me she wants to concentrate on promoting her book: 'One Day Tells its Tale to Another,' while working on a new collection. She's a fine poet and it's a fine publication. Nonnie's been a great friend and she'll be missed.