The Centre for Celtic Spirituality


 The new leader of the Corrymeela Community – a community based on Northern Ireland’s wild and beautiful North Coast and dedicated to peace and reconciliation – is Padraig O’Tuama.

Padraig is a poet, originally from Cork, now based in Belfast, and has worked in the area of reconciliation through story and dialogue. You can find out more about him on his web-site,

THE FACTS OF LIFE (From Sorry for your troubles: poems by Padraig O’Tuama, Canterbury Press 2013)

That you were born
and you will die.

That you will sometimes love enough
and sometimes not.

That you will lie
if only to yourself.

That you will get tired.

That you will learn most from the situations
you did not choose.

That there will be some things that move you
more than you can say.

That you will live
that you must be loved.

That you will avoid questions most urgently in need of your attention.

That you began as the fusion of a sperm and an egg
of two people who once were strangers
and may well still be.

That life isn’t fair.
That life is sometimes good
and sometimes even better than good.

That life is often not so good.

That life is real
and if you can survive it, well,
survive it well
with love
and art
and meaning, given
where meaning’s scarce.

That you will learn to live with regret,
That you will learn to live with respect.

That the structures that constrict you
may not be permanently constraining.

That you will probably be okay.

That you must accept change
before you die
but you will die anyway.

So you might as well live
and you might as well love.
You might as well love.
You might as well love.