“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.” ― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom In a strange way this quote doesn't relate directly to the threat of death and sorrow, but indirectly it has very much to do with it. It makes me feel, as I read it, that Soul exists - that I am Soul. Not just as a concept or metaphor, but something real, yet ... undefinable. And that is the power of all of John O'Donohue's writ
“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.” ― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Whenever something dark happens in my family or to myself I've had a lot of joy out of reading John O'Donohue; joy and strength and wisdom, all bundled. I got his first book - Anam Cara - as a gift from a man I had barely met, right in 2005 some weeks after I had been hospitalized with rampant anxiety. He sent it by snail mail, saying he felt I should have it. One of those small miracles. The book was my strength and you have to read it to understand why.
I briefly wondered what would have happened if the midwife had not discovered that she had set the wrong date for medically induced labor to begin with. I even asked about it but she said it was fine and I figured I must've gotten something wrong about that 'only a week past the term'. Maybe they calculated it differently than I thought? In any case, it's only a few days and a few percentage points of extra risk that were at stake, so I have let it go. I still try to keep affirming that things are going to go 'right', so here's the chance again. And I take it.