Purple petalled flower on a in a bed of green leaves

2023 Grateful 5: Anam cara

I’ve lots of time on my hands these days. Between making cups of tea and fetching whatever needs fetching, I’ve only the occasional piece of work so I’ve plenty of time to think.

And that’s not always a good thing.

I’ve noticed that having free time is doing nothing for my to-do list. Those things I’ve been putting off I’m still putting off which makes me wonder why they’re on the list in the first place.

I’ve noticed that I can lose chunks of time staring into space.

I’ve noticed that my enthusiasm for phone calls and speaking to others is lower than ever, and it was never very high in the first place. I get tired of repeating the same story. The same update.

But hey, such is life.

At times like these, one of my favourite ports of call is the late John O’Donohue.

If this is your first introduction to the man and his work, I’m jealous. Finding him is like finding sense.

Maria Popova, in her post this week, digs into her archives to repost a piece on his book Anam Cara.

Read and enjoy. And let me know what you think.

Anam Cara and the Essence of True Friendship: Poet and Philosopher John O’Donohue on the Beautiful Ancient Celtic Notion of Soul-Friend



4 Responses

  1. An excellent article and thankyou for the introduction to it – very resonant with my own feelings… I have ordered the book

  2. What struck me most from Popova’s post was the CS Lewis quote ‘Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.’ Actually, I’m not sure about the first part, but the second part ‘rather it is one of those things which give value to survival’ is a vital principle. I’ve got some good reading ahead of me. Thanks!

  3. A lot has been written about the survival value of friendships in the guise of the debilitating effect of loneliness … am not sure I’d agree with Lewis on that … but yes, on the giving value … absolutely

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