Friday, February 25, 2011

This transitory life

Artist: Vladimir Kormout

I bless the day I discovered the works of John O'Donohue, the Irish poet-philosopher who died much too soon in 2008. Although his writing is luminously beautiful when simply experienced in print, I recommend the recordings of him reading his own work as the best introduction to his thought and verbal artistry.

Here are several passages about impermanence and time that are good springboards for contemplation:
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.
On its outer surface time is vulnerable to transience. Regardless of its sadness or beauty, each day empties and vanishes. In its deeper heart, time is transfiguration. Time minds possibility and makes sure that nothing is lost or forgotten. That which seems to pass away on the surface of time is in fact transfigured and housed in the tabernacle of memory.
Your soul is the priestess of memory, selecting, sifting, and ultimately gathering your vanishing days toward presence.

1 comment:

  1. Love the painting. It's soft colors are reminiscent of a hazy early morning, just before sunrise; peaceful, tranquil.


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