Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Carry Something Beautiful

Sitting on the deck in my backyard...

In difficult times you should always carry something
beautiful in your mind.
~ Blaise Pascal

The book Beauty, Rediscovering the True Sources of Compassion, Serenity, and Hope, is written by Irish poet, philosopher and author, John O'Donohue. Having only begun to read the opening lines, already I am reaching for my pencil to star-mark phrases and spots to ponder further. In truth, here seems to be another kindred spirit, and as I made mention earlier to my sister, this book, if it continues as it has begun, could almost be my own manifesto. 

Here is one quote on p. 15...

"We feel beautiful when we are loved, and to evoke an awareness of beauty in another is to give them a precious gift they will never lose. When we say from our heart to someone: 'You are beautiful', it is more than a statement of platitude, it is a recognition and invocation of the dignity, grandeur and grace of their spirit. ... When we affirm another's beauty, we affirm something that cannot be owned or drawn into the grid of small-mindedness or emotional need. There is profound nobility in beauty that can elevate a life, bring it into harmony with the artistry of its eternal source and destination. ..."   Y-e-s! 
"When the soul is alive to beauty, we begin to see life in a fresh and vital way. The old habits of seeing are broken. The coating of dead dust falls from the windows. Freed from their dead forms the elements of one's life reveal new urgency and possibility." from p. 19

Do you recall the usual sub-title of my blog... "catching glimpses of heaven in unexpected places"?  Imagine my delight when I found John O'Donohue saying something similar, even on more than one occasion:

"We will be surprised to discover beauty in unexpected places where the ungraceful eye would never linger. The graced eye can glimpse beauty anywhere, for beauty does not reserve itself for special elite moments or instances; it does not wait for perfection but is present already secretly in everything.  When we beautify our gaze, the grace of hidden beauty becomes our joy and our sanctuary."  

See... we must be kindred spirits. Which makes me feel sad to think that this beautiful soul has already passed away from this earth's journey. Thankfully, he was faithful to his God-graced gift to write and so we still have his books to read.  

Which makes me see yet again how important it is to write those beautiful things down (or whatever creative venue it might be) when the good Lord gives them to us. They refresh and re-inspire and give courage to not only ourselves, but our readers and could very well do so to for generations to come.  We just never know, do we?

Hydrangea blossom reposes on my table

According to John O'Donohue, Rainer Maria Rilke said that during such times (those difficult times) "we should endeavour to stay close to one simple thing in nature. When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains or fields, or listen to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves. The slowness and the stillness gradually take us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent. ..."

Do you see why I'm smitten with this book? With that last thought, I'm wishing you a beautiful day, filled with glimpses of heaven in unexpected places. Don't forget to carry something beautiful in your mind today.
Hugs and a gentle kiss atop thy heads,


  1. Hello Brenda, such beautiful words. So uplifting and reminds us of the beauty around us. Love the idea of something beautiful we envision in our minds. xo

  2. this sounds like a wonderful book, Brenda. I'm going to see if I can find it online somewhere. Isn't it wonderful to find a kindred spirit? Somebody who echoes what's in our own heart?

  3. Hello Brenda
    I haven't found John O'Donohue's books before either - I'll try and source it, as from what you've told us it sounds inspiring.
    I saw from your profile that you read Henri Nouwen too, one of my favourites of his is "In Memorium" - have you read it.
    I also enjoy rummaging through my library's sale table!

    I became one of your followers a while ago now.
    I hope all is well with you.

  4. How like The Lord...so providential for you to have found that book and that author.

  5. How lovely to find a book that resonates so deeply with your own spirit. I can just imagine reading it and nodding my head and saying 'yes, yes' in my mind.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo