Before listening to this Being broadcast, I had never heard of John O’Donohue or read any of his poetry or philosophy. I had also never thought of his idea which now, having been exposed to it, seems so simple and natural to me. The notion that beauty is an aspect of God, and an essential one at that, makes so much sense to me when considered in the context of my own life. Beauty found in nature is especially significant both in O’Dononhue’s explanations and my personal interpretation. Although I have never been blessed with the opportunity to visit Ireland and experience the landscape, I understand from the natural beauty that I have experienced that it is really nothing other than an expression of God. I believe this true not only of landscape but of plant and animal life, lakes and rivers, and even of humans in a way. The part of this broadcast which stood out to me the most was the question that Krista Tippett asked of O’Donohue about people who do not have the type of beauty that he described “at hand.” John’s explanation was powerful to say the least, that urban landscapes and inner city surroundings “doubly impoverish” the poor. I could not agree more with Tippett’s desire to “transport” people who have never seen the true beauty of nature, so that they can see and understand how much more there is to life and God than what they see on a daily basis. I believe that, as a person living in an aesthetically undesirable setting, taking a break from the monotony of daily life to go out and experience the outside world even for a short time can truly have healing and revitalizing results. I can relate O’Donohue’s descriptions of the Irish countryside with my own experience of the clear skies and clean waters of Northern Minnesota and the beautiful shores of Lake Superior. Having been able to see even this amount of beauty in nature has truly been a blessing, and now having heard the incredible insight of the late John O’Donohue, I can appreciate this in a way that I never could have imagined before.
More information about text formats