Something beautiful

Beannachtai na Féile Padraig oraibh go léir: The blessings of  Saint Patrick’s Day to you all.

There is some kind of sense of beauty that knows the horizon that we are really called to in some way. I love Pascal’s phrase, that you should always keep something beautiful in your mind. And I have often — like in times when it’s been really difficult for me, if you can keep some kind of little contour that you can glimpse sideways at, now and again, you can endure great bleakness.

John O’ Donohue, The Inner Landscape of Beauty

Keep going

Tighter restrictions imposed again after the brief respite of Christmas. Noticing small moments of beauty nourish the spirit

Friend, we’re travelling together.

Throw off your tiredness.

Let me show you one tiny spot of the beauty that cannot be spoken.


The smallest bit of beauty

Nature teaches us that the moment when darkness is greatest is also the moment that light is about to return.

[In Iran] On the winter solstice families gather for a feast and surround themselves with candles, eat pomegranates and nuts, and recite poetry. “It is a beautiful way of assuring you that you have lived through long nights before. It is precisely at the point that the night is longest and darkest that you’ve actually turned a corner.”

Medieval Persian writings suggested that if one could not afford a feast, it is enough to bring a flower, “Look for the smallest bit of beauty around you. That very much resonates today, at a time where it seems like the mega-systems are all broken or falling apart, to return your gaze to the small.”

Omid Safi, professor of Iranian studies at Duke University, describing the 2,500 year old Iranian winter tradition of Yalda in the New York Times