Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The world outside your window

"Whenever we awaken to Beauty, we are helping to make God present in the world.
The eternal in a human being is a light sleeper and will awaken at the slightest rustle."
(John O'Donohue)

(All photos: Gigi, album)

One of my favourite things about living in Brighton is the city's iconic residential skyline, beyond the Pavilion, the piers or the Wheel. Brighton is up and down in more ways than one: the original Georgian and Victorian housing banks steeply and seemingly haphazardly. During the day, you can pick out the shabby-chic yellow, pink and blue seaside colour-washes of some of the cottages. At night, from my back windows, I love seeing the rising slopes of lights coming on as folk come home.
Housebound again yesterday, with a recurrence of this pesky winter infection, I was pottering around looking for things to fix, paint or smarten up, when I noticed the wintery sun setting. It had been a pale, cold day here, so this late blaze was a warming surprise; a bit like a "Smiley-face" text sent to your soul.
Frequently, when we're busy looking for things to tinker with, to hold our interest or entertain us, we miss much of the invariably beautiful natural processes of the every-day. No fixing or smartening up required.


"The world is not simply there. Everything and everyone we see, we view through the lenses of our thoughts. Your mind is where your thoughts arise and form. It is not simply with your eyes but with your mind that you see the world. So much depends on your mind: How you see yourself, who you think you are, how you see others, what you think the meaning of life is, how you see death, belief, God, darkness and beauty is all determined by the style of mind you have."
(From "The Art of Developing a Beautiful Mind", John O'Donohue)

"One of the fatal habits of minds which has become common in our times is to mistake glamour for beauty. Glamour is a highly fickle and commercially driven enterprise that contributes to the humdrum.
Beauty is not a deadener but a quickener and it alerts and awakens our heart to what is true and good and unified.
The experience of beauty is like a homecoming. When we feel and see and touch the beautiful we feel that we are at one with ourselves because in some subtle and secret way beauty meets the needs of the soul.

The beauty of the earth is the first beauty and our difficulty with the earth is that we are usually so busy and so taken up with our lives that we rarely seem to acknowledge that we are actually here at all."
(From "Beauty: The Invisible Embrace", John O'Donohue)

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