John O’Donohue says that God is beauty.
Not the beauty you see splashed across the pages of a glamour magazine, but beauty “as a rounded substantial becoming, as 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.” My God, who speaks like that? He had me at “a rounded substantial becoming.” I was listening to John in one of his last interviews with Krista Tippett before he died in 2008. I had to pause the conversation several times, listen deeply before I was able to soak up his words like a dry sponge. He is magnetizing and Tippett stays right with him, directing, pushing, asking for more.
Krista Tippett says, “O’Donohue understands beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God.” He tries to help us understand the working of our invisible world, those hidden aspects of self, some of which we will never fully understand. He says poetry, drama, dance, music, and art are forms that try to make the invisible concrete. I so agree. I am thankful for the people who dig deep within themselves and are able to reveal a universal aspect of the world through art. I’ve been brought to tears from a poignant a cappella, I’ve seen an entire room silenced by a good poem, and I think dance can be a mime of the soul.
He said, “music is what language would be if it could.” I also love the emphasis he puts on landscape, he is aware that our surroundings have a huge influence on our inner selves, and he believes it is how we stay in rhythm with the universe. He said we could learn a lot if we walked outside in the morning and realized the environment is alive. Keep an image of nature tucked away in the mind like a picture of a loved one. Below is the sun rising over Clearlake, this is the image I have stored away. I bring it out when I need a refreshing calm.
He says we are strangers to ourselves and collapsing under the burden of stress. He encourages us to see the beauty in our friendships. Our most intimate relationships are truly an aspect of the divine, these are the people who love us deeply, who remind us of our goodness, and help us to become our best self. We should surround ourselves with those who hold us dear. I think we awaken the best or worst in each other through the fruition of our inner self, this is our well, and this is all we have to offer. It is so simple.
Our fast-moving culture doesn’t allow us the space to fully unfold, to develop important friendships, and we’ve replaced our ability for honest conversation with text messages and email. I have a small dinner party planned for tomorrow night and I can’t wait to tell each of you how important you are to me. He reminds us that it is not until we are on the verge losing someone that we understand their deep relevance. The blatant truth changes us and pushes us towards a more authentic self. I am grateful Tippett was able to immortalize O’Donohue’s words in this powerful interview.
I am on fire with this man’s wisdom. O’Donohue speaks of God like Cruise to Zellweger, “You complete me.” He’s written several books, a national bestseller called Anam Cara (which means soul friend), and a more recent work called Divine Beauty. He says, “The glory of God is the human person fully alive.” Hallelujah! I just put my order in with Amazon, let’s hope the drone can find me.
Link to full interview:
On Being with John O’Donohue and Krista Tippett
Originally published on Living in the Gap
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
- Commenting badge.
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:
Join our exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” — where community members are encouraged to discuss the issues of the week, get story ideas, meet other members and get known for their ideas? To get the call-in information, either join as a member or wait until you get a post published with us. Here are some examples of what we talk about on the calls.
Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas.
While you’re at it, get connected with our social media:
However, you engage with The Good Men Project—you can help lead this conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Join us!
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
Photo credit: Shutterstock ID 1275646135