Remembering John O’Dohohue

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the death of the Irish poet/philosopher/life lover John O’Donohue. In memory of him and in gratitude for his influence on my life,  I would like to share some of my favorite quotes from his works. Although he may never be canonized as a Saint with a capital S, he is surely part of the cloud of witnesses that has enriched and challenged not only my life but so many others.

If you have not yet read him, you are in for a deep, rich, beautiful treat.

If you have had the pleasure of reading his words, let us remember this great man together.

John O'Donohue

A Blessing For The New Year

“Beannacht”
On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.”
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Love As Ancient Recognition

“Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition. This metaphor of friendship can be grounded in the clay nature of the human body. When you find the person you love, an act of recognition brings you together. It is as if millions of years before the silence of nature broke, your lover’s clay and your clay lay side by side. Then in turning of the seasons, your one clay divided and separated. You began to rise as distinct clay forms, each housing a different individuality and destiny. Without even knowing it, your secret memory mourned your loss of each other. While your clay selves wandered for thousands of years through the universe, your longing for each other never faded. This metaphor helps to explain how in the moment of friendship two souls suddenly recognize each other. . . .   There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing. Love opens the door of ancient recognition. You enter. You come home to each other at last.” – Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
 May your New Year be blessed with beauty and the love of true soul friends.
And if you choose to pick up a copy of John O’Donohue’s works, here is a tip. Spring for the hardcover. You will be flipping through that gem for years.
John O donohue
For more on John O’Donohue listen to Krista Tippet’s interview with him here.

2 thoughts on “Remembering John O’Dohohue

  1. In my job as a teacher of gifted students, I feel it is important to expose them to beautiful poetry. I will be sharing this poem.

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