Tuesday, January 05, 2016

I was in Bloomingdales Chicago - remembering John O'Donohue

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I was in Bloomingdales in Chicago this morning 
I picked up an email on my iPhone 
as MrsBeautiful shopped. 
It was from a stranger 
wanting to contact my friend Martin quickly 
about John O Donohue.
I forwarded it to him.

I soon flew home from Chicago 
and received the message that our friend 
John O'Donohue has died.

John was on holiday in France with the family of Kristine, 
a wonderful woman he met at Greenbelt just last August.
I was there when Kristine and him met.
I snapped a series of pictures 
and delighted in that first contact with them.

I was shocked.

Poet, priest and philosopher, 
John was a one-off, the warmest, 
funniest, wisest person you could hope to meet.
His most last book, 'Benedictus’, 
was published just before that Christmas.
It is a book of blessings 
and this is an extract from one.

'May there be some beautiful surprise
Waiting for you inside death
Something you never knew or felt,
Which with one simple touch
Absolves you of all loneliness and loss,
As you quicken within the embrace
For which your soul was eternally made.

'May your heart be speechless
At the sight of the truth
Of all your belief had hoped,
Your heart breathless
In the light and lightness
Where each and every thing
Is at last its true self
Within that serene belonging
That dwells beside us
On the other side
Of what we see.'

I feel a cheat saying he was a friend.
I guess everyone who met him now calls him 'friend'.
We met a number of times
smoked a cigar together
sipped a pint
talked until late night/early morning.
I drove him around some at the Greenbelt Festival,
I had his umbrella in my car for two years
until we collided again - at Greenbelt.

We laughed and shared
although - the last time we met
didn't go and sit with him
when I last had the chance.
I felt I needed to be with those I was with……

If anyone can be my rep
in that eternal place
I would count on him.

My heart is always with Kristine who he loved
two way love
working well
cut so so short.
We will remember him
and I will on this day forever.

Quote ::

"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 and difference.

May you realise that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here that behind the facade 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,
writer, philosopher
in his book 'Anam Cara’

"Transience is the force of time that makes a ghost of every experience. 
There was never a dawn, regardless how beautiful or promising, that did not grow into a noontime. 
There was never a noon that did not fall into afternoon. 
There was never an afternoon that did not fade toward evening. 
There never was a day yet that did not get buried in the graveyard of the night. 
In this way transience makes a ghost out of everything that happens to us." 

— John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom