Welcome to our first edition of Consider. May it be a little forage for your inward journey.
Some years ago I listened to an interview with the late Irish poet, John O’Donohue. Amid chopping vegetables for dinner and kids whisking through the kitchen, I hustled to find a scrap of paper and record a single phrase from the poet. On a post-it note, I scribbled these words: learning the art of inwardness…
For years now, this scrap has been tacked above my desk. Often, when I’m stalled on a sentence or laboring over a fitting word, my eyes lift to O’Donohue’s phrase. Though just a fragment, it winks with invitation.
Learning the art of inwardness…
I feel myself slow down. Take a breath. Wonder as some pinprick of light slants through these words.
To borrow a phrase from T.S. Eliot, these words give me the sense that I’ve drawn close to something essential and true, something abiding at the boundary of my senses like “music heard so deeply/ That it is not heard at all.”
Unlike so many things, even lovely things, that become more ticks on a to-do list, learning the art of inwardness is a summons that resists stress and hustle. It’s an orientation to the world, not something that can be gained by doing. It’s learning to tune in with the aerials of our hearts to the music that is so deeply heard, we miss it most of the time.
Surely this music is always playing. How do we give ourselves a chance to listen?
You’ll find Each Holy Hour is short on prescription and long on question. The answers we each find will be as varied as we are. But, I believe, you already and intuitively know how you best listen, how you cultivate your inwardness.
In the next few days, consider this phrase: learning the art of inwardness… Where does it summon you? How will you tune in?
Throughout the week, Kim and I will be continuing this discussion on the blog and posting Instagram content for further engagement.
One last thing: we’re grateful for all of you. Thanks for being part of Each Holy Hour and please chime in with your comments and thoughts. We look forward to deepening the conversation by hearing from you.
Here’s to cultivating wonder,