The power of a word (or two)

background-imageInspiration for my hungry soul no.13: the power of words 

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.
Sometimes I write one and I look at it until it begins to shine.”
Emily Dickinson

This week I am having some time of solitude. Hubs is away and so I am taking this opportunity to go within, to rest, read, paint just for myself and give some attention to my soul. I love this quote from Emily Dickinson. Sometimes I will come across something I have written and am in awe of the way the words flowed together. Sometimes I will read a sentence written by someone else and will fall in love with it.

Currently I am re-reading Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. It is brimful of sentences that touch my heart. I’m also listening again (and again) to his interview with Krista Tippett, The Inner Landscape of Beauty, which I absolutely urge you to listen to too. His voice is just balm to the soul. I recommend the unedited version of the podcast. Just lie back, close your eyes and let your ears be bathed in his soft Irish lilt.

The way he describes beauty is so powerful:

“… beauty isn’t all about just nice, loveliness like. Beauty is about more rounded substantial becoming. And I think when we cross a new threshold that if we cross worthily, what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. And in our crossing then we cross on to new ground where we just don’t repeat what we’ve been through in the last place we were. So I think beauty in that sense is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”

That last sentence is one that will go in my journal of sentences I wish I had written. It is a sentence that shines; a sentence that you feel deeply in the core of your being. A sentence that melts you.

Sadly John O’Donohue is no longer with us, this interview being one of his last before his death in January 2008. He is immortalised in his writings though, thank goodness.

When you need a salve for your soul, here is his wonderful blessing ‘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 into 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

Comments & Responses

6 Responses so far.

  1. Linda Connors says:

    Anam cara is one of my favourite books and John O’Donohue one of my favourite teachers and writers. Thank you for sharing his beautiful and heart felt words.

  2. Claire says:

    It’s heartbreaking to think he’ll never more write words of comfort, but it’s a blessing there are recordings and all his books to still enjoy 🙂

  3. Tina B says:

    I know Claire! I could listen to his voice all day 😉

  4. Tina B says:

    He is very special, Linda – one of my favourites too 🙂

  5. Tina B says:

    Thank you Carlene 🙂

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