Saturday, December 18, 2010

SOF: John O'Donohue and The Inner Landscape of Beauty

SOF: John O'Donohue and The Inner Landscape of Beauty

I listened to this podcast on beauty on the way home from Nashville today. I enjoyed it so much, I picked up a copy of John O’Donohue’s book: To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Hot topics from the podcast: Beauty, Celtic Spirituality, The Power of Landscape/Nature (Great combo with Wendell Berry, readings), Beauty of Dialog, Talk about the Philosophy/Theology of Time, and The Irish Accent is just beautiful to listen to!


Here is a podcast excerpt from O’Donohue that really caught me:
“One way, and I think this is a really lovely way, and I think it’s an interesting question to ask one self too, you know? And the question is when is the last time that you had a great conversation, a conversation which wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation a lot in this culture. But when had you last a great conversation, in which you overheard yourself saying things that you never knew you knew. That you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found places within you that you thought you had lost and a sense of an event of a conversation that brought the two of you on to a different plane. And then fourthly, a conversation that continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards, you know? And I’ve — I’ve had some of them recently, and it’s just absolutely amazing, like, as we would say at home, they are food and drink for the soul, you know?

Second thing, I think a question to always, ask oneself, who are you reading? Who are you reading? And where are you stretching your own boundaries? Are you repetitive in that? And you know, one of the first books I read as a child — we had no books at home, but a neighbor of ours had all these books and he brought loads of books, that’s how I ruined my eyes and I have to wear glasses. But one of the first books I read was a book by Willie Sutton, the bank robber, who was doing 30 years for robbing banks. And in the book somebody asked Willie, and they said, “Willie why do you rob banks?” And Willie said, “‘Cause that’s where the money is.” And you know, why do we read books, ‘cause that’s where the wisdom is.”


I just love the power of words and friends!

4 comments:

Paul Corrigan said...

What a beautiful description of dialogue (and reading). What we want to do on this blog is what O'Donohue describes here--or something like it, at least in a small way.

I definitely want to listen to that podcast now. :-)

living stones said...

Mark, thanks for sharing this really interesting post. I don't know O'Donohue at all, so this is a lovely introduction. I was happy to have Rickey quickly surf the net and share some photos and a short video of a talk by O’Donohue. I am so glad we all have people, books, conversations, and questions to help us on our journey. Thanks again for this insightful, stimulating post. Blessings, Anna

living stones said...

Mark, I love these questions O'Donohue asks in your quote: "And the question is when is the last time that you had a great conversation, a conversation which wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation a lot in this culture. But when had you last a great conversation, in which you overheard yourself saying things that you never knew you knew. That you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found places within you that you thought you had lost and a sense of an event of a conversation that brought the two of you on to a different plane. And then fourthly, a conversation that continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards, you know?" These questions of O'Donohue address one of the core practices of our community: spiritual dialogue. I believe that at times we have had these kinds of dialogues with one another. And I'm very, very grateful. I don't think they can be forced, but we can "practice" for them, and be aware and ready for the times when they are given to us. Thank you for sharing this spirituality with us!
--Rickey

Mark Wills said...

I thought everyone here would really resonate with O'Donohue. Glad to add him to our radar.

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