January 4, 2017


Thanks for dropping by. I’m Beth O’Halloran – an artist, a mum of two smallies, a (former) traveller and Zen enthusiast. And for the last few years, I’ve been rubbing elbows with a new artistic troop – writers (through sheer luck, I’ve joined a 21st Century Algonquin Table type group of poets, memoirists and novelists.)

This site is a container of sorts – a Comfort Jar – where I blog daily about what lifts my heart. But it’s very much a communal jar. I’m asking you readers to tell me what brings you comfort, little or big. Every day for 2017, I’ll open a little origami star (details below), read its quote and share it with you. purple-starjan-3rd-star

I’m based in Dublin but hail from both Irish and Maine, USA stock. In case you didn’t catch my first post, I’ll add it here to explain where this all sprang from…

I know I’m in good company saying a hearty Good Riddance to 2016. My year went a lot like one of those country songs you think will never end. And on November 8th, the Annus Horibilis  shifted gears from bad song to shuddering squeal. On that day, I was on a plane from NYC to Dublin, as the election results seeped in through my seat companion’s live feed. I went from smug (sure I was about to witness the first female US president smash her glass ceiling)  to chest-caved-in horror somewhere mid-Atlantic. And the worst part was, I was not amongst my kin. That’s you. I was surrounded by perfectly nice people. The woman beside me made me laugh. She was watching ‘Bad Moms’ and drinking vodka with cranberry (x 3). The guy on my right made me feel safe…mid-Westerner, late 50’s, cosy sweater, tidy hair, no booze. Just the guy you want near you if the ship goes down. But somewhere above Greenland, things took a terrible turn and the lovely people all around morphed into party mode as it became clear that their choice, Trump, had been elected, ‘By a landslide,’ the bad mom told me gleefully, as I scratched myself back from dumbfounded haze. Then it all felt very Snakes on a Plane.

And therein, I simply fell to pieces. For months. And thanks be to gawd, I understand I’m not alone and this is where you come in. I very much need your help with a little project called The Comfort Jar to climb out of  my Trump slump.

The idea is, I’ll be here every day of 2017 with at least one morsel of comfort and asking any of you who find the time to share any moment of comfort you might want to share too. It can be very small (cinnamon on my cappuccino small) or something  monumental in words or pictures. I’m sure, by now, you’ve all seen those Facebook posts showing jars full of Post-Its scribbled with good things. I started one last January when my dear old dog died (see above – country song fodder). But this year, something amazing happened…. My sister Kate and her daughter Aoife came from the US to spend Christmas with me in Dublin. And they gave me this:

At first I thought it was a jar of rainbow-coloured popcorn. And I was happy. But once I got up close, I realised it is a jar full of lovingly-folded origami paper stars. There are 365 stars in the jar. Can you believe I have family like this?! And it gets better…for inside each tiny, loving star is a message…an inspirational quote, I’m told. I’ve only opened the first one because I clearly understood that I couldn’t keep all this comfort and joy and inspirational quote stuff to myself with the year that’s in it. So I’m going to open a star each day and tell you what it says.

Thanks for visiting! 🙂


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