Random meetings?

Yesterday, through various connections, I was introduced to three remarkable people. How I missed meeting these people until now is a mystery to me, although I suspect the clues lie somewhere in the ‘wooded’ land between the laundry line and the kitchen sink.

In no particular order of remarkability, the three new folk in my life are: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin; Janet Bowie;  and John O’Donohue.

I don’t know why our meetings happened within the space of one day. Were they entirely random? At first I couldn’t see any linkages but, on reflection, I have decided that the inter- twining threads are prolific creativity, hard work and Godliness or spirituality; theirs not mine, of course 🙂

I find each person fascinating. But, the person I most want to know better is  John O’Donohue, because I fell in love with this quote found on Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_O%27Donohue)

  • “When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape.” p.17Anam Cara (1997)

One day, I hope I will read John O’Donoghue’s Beneditcus: A Book of Blessings or To Bless The Space Between Us.

In the meantime, I am sharing part of a challenge sent to us with our Communion invitations, entitled Some questions you might like to ask at the end of the day – with thanks to John O’Donohue’s Benedictus

What dreams did I create last night?

Where did my eyes linger today?

Where was I blind?

What did I learn from today?

What did I read?

What new thoughts visited me?

What did I avoid today?

From all this, how will I approach tomorrow?

If you want to know what I avoided today; it was sorting out the basket where I keep all my receipts and bills and other paper that accumulates in a our supposedly paperless, computerised world.

As for Janet Bowie…. according to the Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin, she made 736 pairs of socks for New Zealand soldiers during the Great War and, for her efforts, she was awarded the world’s first and only MBE for knitting. What a knitter. And if anyone doubts the importance of warm, knitted socks in war time, google trench foot.

11 thoughts on “Random meetings?

  1. Pingback: From Oostburg to Christchurch, we are connected. | silkannthreades

  2. The Balsamean

    I’m thumbstruck (in a keyboarding world) by the solitude quote, as one living in solitude for about five years, always unafraid of it, enjoying it increasingly until now I can’t live without it. Blogging is something new (this year), and I am struggling to find a balance with it. But O’D. didn’t say a LIFE OF solitude; just to cease fearing it. I would say to engage it. The effects he describes are a slow process in any case. I first met O’D. in the November 2009 issue of The Sun magazine, where they published his essay, “The Question Holds the Lantern.” The Sun doesn’t have that page online, but I found a copy here: http://ibarradas21.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/the-question-holds-the-lantern-john-odonohue-ph-d/. The “On Being” public radio show has an episode on him, interview, etc. An unedited version of interview by Krista Tippett: http://www.onbeing.org/program/inner-landscape-beauty/203/extraaudio, just a few months before he died in Jan 2008. Great to hear him in conversation.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Bless you for passing on these links. The essay is a treasure. Quicksand and different world, very resonant for our situation here. Am listening now to the radio interview. I too find the balance of life and blogging tricky.

  3. Clanmother

    I have lived too many miracles to believe in randomness. Interesting quote – especially ““When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you.” The difference between loneliness and solitude is a fine line. You have given me something to think about…thank you!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, it is a fine line. But I am considering if we need to embrace both. Something for me to think about.

      1. Clanmother

        I agree! Something to think about. Loneliness and solitude must be seen as if in a mirror. Without experiencing loneliness, one cannot understand solitude or embrace it as a gift.

  4. cindy knoke

    This is the second time in 24 hours that I am passing on a post from you. That quote is a perfect example of what I call inner resources. We all have them and need to learn how to access them. Wonderful post from you as usual.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      So pleased you enjoyed the quote and the post. Our inner resources are important. You have lots of opportunity to access yours in your wonderful environment. I was really sad to read in our paper the other day that young people no longer want to stay in our broken city because there are no night clubs or night life. How do we teach our young ones that there is so much more that makes life worth living wherever you may be?


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