Day 27: Elder Muse – What Is Life Without Beauty?

“The earth is full of thresholds where beauty awaits the wonder of our gaze.”
― John O’Donohue, Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

What of beauty? It is as unique as each one of us. Nature’s landscapes and creatures, a beautiful human face, art that expands our perceptions, colors, light and form, the poetry of music – so much beauty in this world.

Yet, there is a different landscape for beauty to create within. The inner landscape within us. Most often we don’t even think about it, or look for beauty there. It is subtle but it is there in our continual journey of becoming as we cross thresholds leaving old patterns of thinking and being behind.

A space of being within where we feel more alive!

At times, as elders, we may experience the vulnerability and fragility of being at this latter stage of embodied life. It may not seem as easy to explore new territory or cross over thresholds – edges of life – leaving our “normal” ways of being behind.

We could all of a sudden be in a body compromised by painful and restricted mobility, have a precarious financial situation appear, or be in the depths of deeply grieving the lack or loss of a devoted friend or companion in life.

Where can we find beauty then to remind us of how it feels to be more alive?

Beauty isn’t about all nice loveliness. Beauty is about a more rounded, substantial becoming. When we cross a new threshold what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. In that sense beauty is about emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”

~John O’Donohue

John O’Donohue has always been a favorite of mine and I was fortunate to find his eloquent embodied writings when he was still alive. I thought I would love to travel to his part of Ireland and be with him on his own turf. Unfortunately that never happened as he passed away before I could make that journey. However, he lives on in his numerous writings and recordings.

Below you will find a very brief 6 minute portion of a two hour interview with John by Krista Tippett of On Being. I still feel his presence…..

Beauty Is An Edge of Becoming – Portion of an Interview/John O’Donohue with Krista Tippett

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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/27/22

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