Today is the 2nd year anniversary of part 2 of my life in Paris. I moved here on July 17th 2015. I first moved here form Dublin when I was 22. At that point I knew as little about anyone in this city or the city itself as I did about myself. Two years later London called and I packed a few bags and moved. When Amsterdam called 6 years after that, the bags had become boxes and the identity of who I was, a little clearer. I’d already learned that you can’t hold on to everything, regardless of how hard you try. And then, almost 10 years later, I returned to the city that first captured my imagination and carved so much of itself into the lines now more visible on my features that I could barely distinguish the lines of the city and the lines of the self. Needless to say,  the bags were bigger this time and I don’t just mean the ones under my eyes. From 22 to a month away from 42, all now visible in the partially filled boxes around my feet. Somewhere within these collections, are hints at who I am on route to becoming, I guess…



Back to the boxes;
finding things forgotten
in seams not yet sealed
and finding no room
for the other things
since stuck
with too much tape
that I cannot take
any longer
in this movement
along another midway,
a mild change of track
through to midlife,
making home
in another station
amid the mayhem
of the moment,
making room
to make more moments
that will momentarily
fill more boxes
when another move
meanders my way.

We are made of
movements from major
to minor and back again;
I am right,
he has left,
she is nowhere
and everywhere
and not everyone
they have turned back,
I have carried on,
I can hold happy
alongside these boxes;
bruised and battered
but far from broken,

I can hold it all,
I will hold what’s left.

Back to the boxes;
to the treasures
I’ve taken to be true
and the truths
that have lead me
to the lies
I’ve cast
to the curbs
I crawled over
and then crossed
off. I cannot
carefully wrap
every delightfully deceptive
distraction that comes a calling,
whether correctly considered
or coldly comfortless,
I too am to be cared for,
I too need room to be
made for me without
the waste of words,
do I not deserve a space
to call my space within all space,
within this fleeting space
we are speeding through?

My next bed will spring
from my liking as I plaster
my own skin in my own
desires. I desire
to be distracted
by dreams not too distant.
I will not be packed
in a box
like these belongings;
longing to be lifted to the light.
I am too fond of freedom
to wait for life to find me.

I am moving,
with boxes
on my back
and cartons
crammed into the cracks
of my consciousness.

I will not wait for life
to come to me;
this is me- see me- overtaking it!

All words and pictures by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:



8 thoughts on “OVERTAKING

  1. exploringcolour

    Happy 2nd year anniversary of being back in Paris Dami! WOW – amazing that on this anniversary you’re taking up residence in a new abode! Best wishes for this newest phase in your life!

  2. Stefanie Neumann

    Happy 2nd Paris-Anniversary, dear Dami!
    May you new home become the sacred outer pendant to your inner space of spaces and may love, peace, happiness and joy accompany your leadership in life.

    I love the poem you shared and enjoyed very much to hear your voice, again.
    It particularly speaks to my heart as I will be 42 in October this year, too, and although I am not moving appartements at the moment a lot of things are moving on the inside, making space for me being me.

    Much love and big hugs 🌹,

    1. deuxiemepeau

      This is so good to hear! It can be the most difficult thing in life to make space for ourselves but often the most important thing to learn!
      I wish you love and luck too 🌻🤗

  3. Paula Antonello Moore

    Happy Anniversary Dami! Best of luck to you in the glorious unknown that lies ahead. Thank you for letting us in, to the changes that have happened and those yet to take hold. Cheers!

    1. deuxiemepeau

      I am glad it resonates. Change is a part of all our lives although in early youth it seems like an adventure, often unquestioned; we pack, we move, we rebuild… later on, there is so much more to question. What do we take and why are we taking it. And can we let it go? And if we let it go, what is left in its place?

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