To Bless the Space Between Us: 2 Gems from John O’Donohue

January 4, 2024

To Bless the Space Between Us: 2 Gems from John O’Donohue

May 29, 2023

“We have fallen out of belonging. Consequently, when we stand before crucial thresholds in our lives, we have no rituals to protect, encourage, and guide us as we cross over into the unknown.”

*

“There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself, though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as a blessing.”

- John O’Donohue

One of my great regrets is never meeting the great Irish priest, poet, and philosopher John O’Donohue before his untimely death in his early 50s. As many of you have experienced, we often end our workshops with his exquisite poem, “For a New Beginning.” From afar, O’Donohue was one of the angels who inspired me to create MEA with my co-founders, Christine and Jeff. 

My deep joy is to see you fall in love: in love with a bunch of strangers (some of whom truly got on your nerves that first night), fall in love with midlife and aging (because you realize there are some unexpected pleasures), and, most importantly, fall in love with yourself again, which has been a long time coming. 

The Marginalist newsletter founder Maria Popova captures the flavor of an MEA week and the fact you experienced such a soulful connection you can’t put it into words (but Maria’s done so quite beautifully), 

“Every once in the bluest moon, if you are lucky, you encounter someone with such powerful and generous light in their eyes that they rekindle the lost light within you and return it magnified; someone whose calm, kind, steady gaze penetrates the very center of your being and, refusing to look away from even the most shadowy parts of you, falls upon you like a benediction.”  

For those of you reading this who are MEA alums, maybe you ought to forward today’s post to someone who was your enlightened witness during your workshop week.

-Chip

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