Friday, September 08, 2006

What's in a name?

(The lovely Dr Higgins, Father O'Donohue and Me...guernsey? guernsey? tax, tax, guernsey)

The other day someone asked me where I came up with the name 'Harbour of Ourselves'. Well, it found its genesis whilst on retreat (titled 'When you enter into freedom, possibility comes to meet you'), with the good people of Zero28 in Belfast last autumn. There, we were led by the wonderful mystic John O'Donohue, a man whose speech is poetry itself. Never is a word wasted, its as if his heart and mind are so in tune with one another beauty can't help but drip from his lips.

One particular gem stood out. He said, "A way of coming back to the harbour of ourselves is to ask who we are. It takes a whole lifetime to take your place in your own life. Solitude is given to you to receive yourself. Maybe dear friends it's time to illuminate God in the mirror of our souls?"

So often we are on the run from ourselves - yet maybe if we were to sit down and travel to the heart of our own darkness and face our demons, we begin to see that they don't have the power over us we once thought. So just maybe we should harvest time by the appropriate framing of invocation and blessing...and find the harbour of ourselves.

ps, the pic was taken by none other than the good doctor himself - dear god, a man who can multi-task!


The Meaning Weakened by the Lies said...

I think sometimes our demons can act as our safety net. The one thing that we do know, the excuse for not making the effort or taking that next step or great adventure. They almost act as a comfort from the unknown. That is what makes them so truly destructive.

mister tumnus said...

thanks for this post. there's a lot i could say. but for now, if you're female and interested in this sort of thing the best book i've read on the subject is 'women and desire' by polly young-eisendrath. it is well worth a look. lifechanging.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Mister T, I assume you are asking TMWBL if they are female and not me??? ha ha

mister tumnus said...

oh i wasn't asking either of you! when i said 'you' i meant 'anyone reading'. dumb ol' english language....

(and if you're a woman i'm shirley crabtree)

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

ah, now the fog lifts - too much chablis last night!

Suzanna said...

great pic...I'm just getting to know the three of you through subtle and surprising connections. Something kindred there that also is a mirror. & this woman thanks mr. t for the book title.

Awareness said...

I am captivated by this post......
It makes me want to go find that friend solitude and invite God to join me...............and just sit and be.

Often, I read the poems and thoughts that you share in your blog and I'm literally stuck for words. And, since you have read my blog, you can safely assume that I can be a bit of a chatterbox.

So, I may not leave comments every time I read your words.......I always, always walk away from my computer processing the idea, feeling the emotions depicted, and wondering what it would be like to sit down with you to share a pint and a chat.

Mata H said...

It's hard to decide which quote to post, as this entry brought them both to mind:

Waits: "If I exorcise my demons, my angels may leave too -- and when they leave, they're so hard to find." ...or...

Phil Ochs:"And the ship sets the sail
They’ve lived the tale
To carry from the shore
Straining at the oars
Or staring from the rail
And the sea bids farewell
She waves in swells
And sends them on their way
Time has been her pay
And time will have to tell
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor"

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

suzzana, the other two parts of the trinity definitely have something to say, but glad you like my ramblings and little corner of blogland all the same

Awareness - i think god cherishes our too many words, so i figure we should probably do the same with each other

mata, both quotes are more than apt - nearly included the waits one myself - there is a song on real gone where tom talks of coming 'back to the harbour' - maybe i'll take another peek

Niki said...

I never know what to say to your posts but if it's any consolation I do think about them a lot.
I'm back at college in Guernsey settling back down to A Levels - I'm going to have to resit after the train-wreck that was year 12! But no matter; I'm ready.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...


Don't worry, I don't know what I'm going on about half the time anyway!

Good luck with year 12 part 2

Niki said...

Thanks darl. Stay safe.