Today I want to share something special with you. Something that makes my soul sing. My heart soar. My mind expand. Curious?
It is the writings of a very few select people whose work stirs me like no others. I find myself returning back time and again for another bite. At times when my soul yearns to be bathed in the beauty of it or to immerse myself in some deep inner truths. Sometimes there are long spaces between visits. And then I wonder why I deprived myself so long.
I struggle to find words to describe the how and the why of it. It just is – more than. It’s a catalyst. It’s a feast. It’s ….. perhaps I’ll just try and give you a glimpse of how I experience it:
It is like savouring every scrumptious tiny morsel of the world’s most delicious mouthful. Being totally immersed in the experience – like eating a slice of orange one single cell at a time. Slowly. Feeling the burst as you bite into it. The mini explosion of juice in your mouth. The sweetness, the orange-ness of it. Then another. And another. You never want it to end. Even as you savour the last of it you already mourn the imminent loss. At the same time knowing there is always more. When the time is right. However it is a holy tasting, one to be savoured, partaken of in solitude, with respect, total absorption, enveloped in the grace and sheer beauty of it.
It is like listening to the most soul stirring music. Hearing the nuance of every note, every crescendo, every diminuendo, every instrument or voice as it blends and merges into one sweet, harmonious melody. Flying high as it soars to the heavens. Plunging down with it as it descends to the depths. Making your heart sing. Or stirring outpourings of the deepest feelings that reduce you to tears, perhaps for no apparent reason other than for the gloriousness of it.
It is like being absorbed in the most stunning sunset. The sky lit up, a kaleidoscopic artist’s palette filled with splashes of colour – reds, purples, golds, yellows and greens shimmering, merging, shifting, shaping as the sky darkens into night. A feast for the eyes that stirs the soul.
It is like being awed by the power and majesty of a rip-roaring thunderstorm. Flashes of forked lightning lighting up the sky. Crashes and clashes of thunder shaking the very foundations to the core. A metaphor for digging deep within to release and sooth the beast that lies lurking. A visceral reminder of just how infinitesimally small we are. Yet unique, loved and connected.
All this may sound a bit fanciful to others. Perhaps you’re wondering whether I’ve lost the plot somewhere along the way. I like to think I’m as sane as anybody else. Whose work does this to me? Today, I want to introduce you to one of them – the Celtic scholar and poet, John O’Donohue. Below is just a snippet from one of his books, Anam Cara. Which, by the way, is Gaelic for ‘soul friend’. Your experience of it will undoubtedly differ from mine. I hope you enjoy it.
A Blessing of Solitude
May you recognise in your life the presence, power and
light of your soul.
May you realise that you are never alone
that your soul in its brightness and belonging
connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your own individuality
May you realise that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have special destiny here,
that behind the façade of your life there is
something beautiful, good and eternal happening.
May you learn to see your self with the same
delight, pride and expectation with which God
sees you in every moment.
John O’Donohue: Anam Cara – Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World Page 161
© Raili Tanska