Archive | July, 2014

Small Glimpses of Beauty

23 Jul


Several years ago BBC broadcaster Michael Ford interviewed the remarkable Irish poet, John O’Donohue, whose name is known worldwide for his book Anam Cara.  Ford collected his thoughts about that special encounter in his own book, Spiritual Masters For All Seasons, and in that little volume he remembers O’Donohue’s thoughts about beauty.

“Beauty,” O’Donohue told him, “has become confused with glamour.  Glamour was a multibillion dollar industry that thrived on dislocating or unhousing people from their own bodies and transferring all the longing toward the perfection of image.  Glamour was insatiable because it lacked interiority.  Beauty was a more sophisticated and substantial presence with an eternal heart — a threshold place where the ideal and the real touched each other.  People on the bleakest frontiers of desolation, deprivation, and poverty were often sustained by small glimpses of beauty.”

Sometimes “small glimpses of beauty” is enough.  

I find glamour to be uninterestingly shallow, but the “birds of the air and the lilies of the field”, the downpour of rain in the desert, brilliant oranges and purples painted on the mountains just before the sun disappears, the clarity of stars in a dark sky…small glimpses of beauty.  That’s enough.


15 Jul



I’ve learned a lot on my own over the years.  I love to read, so books have fed my mind and tickled my imagination.  As an introverted person, I recognize the importance of quiet time once in awhile.  It’s in the quiet that my batteries are recharged and my strength renewed.  Today, though, I’m remembering conversations and feeling a rush of gratitude for friends and family who, through the years, have advised, encouraged, and helped me clarify life.


Sometimes, however, the best conversation is just sitting together without saying a word.  Can conversations of the spirit happen even when words aren’t uttered?  Can minds or hearts connect even in the lovely moments of simply sitting together, merely being in each other’s presence?  I think so.






A Different Path

12 Jul


I’ve taken quite a few photos of pathways over the years.  They seem to draw my attention and ignite my imagination.  One thing of interest is that I’ve never found two identical pathways.  Each is unique with its own invitation to adventure or reflection.  So it occurs to me that the basic reality of a pathway is that it leads somewhere.  That’s why it exists.  It is, indeed, an invitation to move from here to there, but also an offer to discover something new.  Beyond the fundamental purpose of a pathway common to all, each one is special and inviting in its own way.  Perhaps that’s the way it is in one’s spiritual journey.  Many of us are following chosen faith pathways that we hope will lead to discovery, but we are wise to recognize that, like spokes leading to the center of the wheel, spiritual pathways come from all directions and point us toward a common center.

The good news is that for the person who follows his or her chosen way, discovery waits just around the corner.