from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

John O'Donohue on intimacy

'In a world where the computer replaces human encounter and psychology replaces religion, it is no wonder that there is an obsession with relationship. Unfortunately, however, 'relationship' has become an empty centre around which our lonely hunger forages for warmth and belonging. Much of the public language of intimacy is hollow and its incessant repetition only betrays the complete absence of intimacy. Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never exposes its secret trust and belonging to the voyeuristic eye of a neon culture. Real intimacy is of the soul, and the soul is reserved.'


  1. That sounds very isolationist and sad and possibly judgemental. Sometimes just a hello spoken with soul can be enough. What does he mean 'public language of intimacy'? Maybe because I live in deep rural peasant ville and don't have a tv I don't get it. Real intimacy is a sacred experience, which starts within ourself...

  2. Hi Veronica

    Yes that's interesting, and I agree re the 'hello spoken with soul'. Yes, looking again, I can see what you mean. But bearing in mind he lived until his death in the rural West of Ireland, I think what he was speaking of can be an easy bandying of 'lovey'ness with false chummy sentimentality that too often passes for love in our media, but without the depth and substance. Now maybe I'm being judgemental; but I'm also aware for myself of how addictive, for instance, the 'friendships' on, say, facebook can be; and then I remember that young teenager who killed himself last Christmas, having posted to facebook a message that he was going to; of his hundreds of 'friends', not a single one responded. I guess there are things to consider in relation to all this.

  3. Oh, I hadn't heard about that boy ...Friendships aren't all equall. Someone I vaguely know asked, via facebook, if I would be her 'best friend'. I chose to ignore her request... But it felt all wrong. So yes,after all I agree that in this age of technical communications it easy to be 'lovey' without actually meaning it. Of course I want to be best friends with every one! Rereading the John Donahue I can understand more of what he is getting at. Thanks for that.


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